In a video released by Amjad Visual Production, a media group affiliated with Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), HTS leader Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani is shown speaking words of encouragement to a few dozen fighters in the field. In the six-minute video, titled "Confident Of Allah's Victory," Al-Joulani says: "We are not at a moment of defeat" and promises the men: "Allah willing, we will reach not only Damascus. Jerusalem awaits us as well." The video was released on January 27, 2018, two days before the first anniversary of the founding of HTS.
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: "There is no significance to the defeat of one village to another. Our goals are much loftier than that. My brothers, when I just began, I had only 60 guns – I sent seven to Aleppo, five to Damascus, seven to Daraa, and five to Hama... That was all I had. To those who came to swear allegiance to me, I would say: 'We have nothing. We are doing whatever we can.' Today, we are setting out with tanks, armored personnel carriers, Konkurs [missiles], and with lots of equipment and many men.
"Oh brothers, this war is more than a war between Truth and Falsehood. It is a war of ideas, a war of minds, a war of will, a war of steadfastness. Just as we think, our enemy also thinks. It may be that one army will prevail over another, and that the victor will suffer tens of thousands of causalities, while the defeated will have only a few thousands. But in the end, the victor is the one who wins. It does not matter how many of the enemy we have killed. This is why it is called a war of ideas and minds, a war of faith and belief. We must use everything that we have to protect the Sunnis. We must use our brains and ask for the help of Allah. In the most difficult breaking points, we must be very decisive, and not lose faith that Allah will grant us victory. There is no doubt about that, my brothers. This is a promise from Allah, written in the most noble book – the Quran.
"Allah willing, we will reach not only Damascus. Jerusalem awaits us as well. Every bullet we fire here will reverberate throughout the Islamic world. Your place as a Jihad fighter on this blessed land is in itself a grace of Allah, Who chose you from among billions of people.
"We are not at a moment of defeat. We must not cry about anything, except for one thing: To be killed while Allah is not satisfied with us. That is the only thing that should matter to us."