New Jihadi Group Claims Killing, Wounding Dozens Of Turkish And Syrian Soldiers In 'Martyrdom' Operation; Claims To Have No Ties With Any Group, In Or Outside Syria

September 1, 2020

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On August 31, 2020, Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq Brigade, a new jihadi group which describes itself as "independent," released[1] a statement claiming that one of its fighters had carried out a martyrdom operation on a Turkish army position in Jissr Al-Shughour in Idlib, Syria, wounding and killing dozens of Turkish and Syrian soldiers.

In the statement, which was posted on the group's official Telegram channel, the group announced that the operation was carried out by a fighter named Abu Sulaiman Al-Ansari on August 28, 2020, who targeted Turkish soldiers stationed in the Sallat Al-Zouhour school with an explosive-laden vehicle.

The statement claimed that dozens of Turkish "NATO" soldiers and their Syrian "guards" were wounded or killed. The statement rejected a claim by a the Turkish army, who alleged that they successfully detonated Al-Ansari's vehicle before he could reach his target.

The group also noted that its fighters did not storm the Turkish base, and mentioned that the clashes which ensued after the operation were between the Turkish soldiers and the Syrian soldiers. According to the group, when the Syrians sent reinforcements after the attack, the Turkish army mistook them for jihadis and initiated fighting.

The statement then denied that a civilian was killed as a result of the attack, saying that the victim was killed by the Turkish soldiers who "opened fire randomly and targeted everyone who was near the location, including nearby houses and vehicles."

After announcing that it is an independent group and has no connection to any other groups inside or outside Syria, the Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq Brigade said it plans to release a video, which will be followed by a statement, warning Muslims not to come near Turkish bases and vehicles. "Those who refuse to follow [the warning] after the release of the statement," the group said, "will suffer the consequences of their decision."

The statement concluded by stressing the group's determination to wage jihad and "fight those who commit acts of unbelief, acts of apostacy, and attack the Muslim religion, its women, its lands, and spill Muslim blood." The group then vowed to "implement Allah's shari'a or die for the cause."

[1] August 31, 2020.

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