Report: Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar Amalgamates With 3 Brigades
The VK account of Chechen-led Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar reports that JMA has united with three other factions to form a new group.
The account writes:
Harakat Sham Islam, JMA, Katiba Khadraa, Harakat Fajr Sham have united into Jabhat Ansar ud-Din which will fight exclusively against the polytheist Nusayris [i.e. Assad’s forces], at this very moment.
Kavkaz Center has also tweeted the news:
Сирия. "Джейш Мухаджирин валь Ансар" и еще 3 катибы объединились в единную вооруженную группировку. Подробности позже pic.twitter.com/iiM3C543G3
— Kavkaz Center (@kavkazcentercom) July 25, 2014
Update: there is now a video of the announcement of the new brigade. Note Salahuddin Shishani’s presence:
JMA considers itself a branch of the Caucasus Emirate in Syria. It is not clear what prompted the merger — but it is worth noting that it comes after several weeks of little news from JMA, following the group’s advances in Layramoun, northwestern Aleppo, in previous months. It could be that the faction was depleted in heavy clashes with Assad’s forces. It is not clear yet who the Emir of the new group will be — i.e. if it will be JMA Emir Salahuddin Shishani or another leader; and it is also not clear to what extent JMA will maintain its relationship with the Caucasus Emirate following this move.