The Syrian National Army’s (SNA) Revolutionaries for Liberation has published photos of a recent meeting between leaders of SNA and the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), showing Mohammed al-Jassem—known as Abu Amsha—among the attendees. The photos showed Abu Amsha despite reports that he had been removed from leadership positions, and Abu Amsha’s denial of violations and practices committed in northern Syria, which angered social media users.
According to the Revolutionaries, SIG head Abdul Rahman Mustafa visited the authority’s headquarters and met with the leadership council. It became clear from the images that Abu Amsha remains a member of the Revolutionaries’ leadership council, despite the accusations leveled against him.
Abu Amsha’s photos, which were circulated on social media, sparked an escalating debate, particularly with the announcement of Abu Amsha’s earlier removal as brigade commander. His reappearance came about despite a publicly announced decision to prevent him from holding positions related to the Syrian revolution, which culminated in the decision to exclude him altogether. all of these policies seem to have effectively been dismissed with Abu Amsha’s recent appearance.
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In February, the tripartite committee authorized to look into grievances and abuses by some leaders of the Suleiman Shah faction announced rulings on Abu Amsha’s removal, exile, and criminal conviction. The committee reportedly included Sheikh Abdul Alim Abdullah, Sheikh Ahmed Alwan, and Sheikh Muwafaq al-Omar, all members of the Syrian Islamic Council.
It is noteworthy that Abu Amsha led several members of the former Free Army in the Hama countryside, before moving to the areas north of Aleppo following the oppression that those members were exposed to by the former Jabhat al-Nusra. Abu Amsha rose to fame after the National Army took control of Afrin. He became widely discussed in the media, due to many videos and controversial behaviors. He exercised military force, a tight grip on security, and great levels of access to the SNA, according to what is known about him.
Abu Amsha worked to build a large “empire” for him in the area of Sheikh Hadid with all its villages and towns and made it his headquarters. He prohibits any faction from entering it or even any civilian, except with his knowledge and approval, and the control of his security apparatus —which is run by people close to him. The whole area was occupied by his soldiers, with all its livelihoods and civilians, in which he makes decisions without any reference or body to hold him accountable.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.