Al-Uraydi's Recent Message: An Attempt to calm tensions with Tahrir al-Sham
On February 22, 2021, Huras al-Din (Guardians of Religion) organization posted the seventh message written by the group's senior sharia official, Sami Al-Uraydi, which came after a previous one that Al-Uraydi published shortly after the United States' $5 million reward was offered on September 13, 2020, for anyone who provides information about the aforementioned leader.
The message also comes in a time when the organization is witnessing further decline, loss of momentum and effectiveness, and retreating in the face of the ongoing security campaigns being launched by Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) against their leaders and members, which resulted in the arrest of more of its senior members.
The message has almost the same content of its predecessors, as it included signals on the continuation of jihad (holy war), endurance of woes, alienation, pooling the strengths and challenging the dilemmas they would face.
However, the new letter reflected the severe weakness of Hurras al-Din due to the impact of the security campaign of HTS and as well as ongoing airstrikes by the US-led International Coalition that targeting its leaders, which made Al-Uraydi, who was in hiding, take his security precautions and publish the message in a written text that is not a video or audio recording.
In addition, the group seems vulnerable as al-Uraydi issued such a letter that indirectly shows a spirit of compromise and the way he is trying to reach out to Tahrir al-Sham, which he did not name in his message, and his attempt to manage the regulatory differences and disputes with them, under clear foundations and determinants based on mobilizing the energies of the factions and groups, and directing them to fight the common enemy instead of wasting powers in turf battles and infighting among these groups.
Al-Uraydi stated that it is not a priority for the Guardians of Religion Organization to engage in battles with other Islamic organizations unless they are involved in such battles in support of those he called them as “the infidels,” and then “the response will be as much as needed,” in a clear message addressed to HTS and its fighters that the members of Hurras al-Din organization never consider of being involved in any fight against.
It seems that the leadership of the Guardians of Religion Organization is not only trying to mobilize and alert its own members and cells but also to influence the fighters and bases of Tahrir al-Sham, after losing hope in finding a calm approach with its leadership.
The leading figures of the group wish such a voice would find resonance within the ranks of HTS, and as a result they sympathy with the aggrieved members of Hurras al-Din, and put pressure on Tahrir al-Sham to stop targeting them and accept their presence in the HTS-held areas as "partners in jihad."
Unit of Religious Movements - Jusoor for Studies