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Syria: the US puts a price on the head of al-Jawlani, HTS leader

The US places a price on the head of al-Jawlani, leader of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in Idlib. Offered up to 10 million for information useful for its capture. The move increases the pressure on Iran and Turkey

The United States puts a bounty on Muhammad al-Jawlani (aka Abu Muhammad al-Golani and Muhammad al-Julani), one of the leading exponents of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda and mainly active in Idlib. The man, already head of the former al-Nusra Front (ANF), is accused of having carried out several terrorist attacks in the Syrian province, often targeting civilians. As a result, the Rewards for Justice program offers up to $ 10 million to anyone who will provide useful information for his capture. The announcement aims to increase pressure on Iran and Turkey. In the first case, Julani and al-Qaeda are the most important Sunni wings of the Islamic Republic. In the second, following the fact that Ankara has allied itself with HTS in an anti-Damascus key and tries to present it as an organization that seeks dialogue and that increasingly focuses on politics, rather than weapons.

HTS itself must now decide whether or not to dump its leader. The risks in both cases are many. Ankara, on the other hand, cannot afford to lose group support right now

Even Hayat Tahrir al-Sham herself finds herself in difficulty and at a crossroads: to discharge or not al-Jawlani. If it does, it will lose the support of Iran and al Qaeda. If, on the other hand, it rallies around its leader, it risks ending up like the Guardians of Religion, who in Idlib undergo Inherent Resolve air raids on an almost daily basis. In between is Turkey, which must necessarily maintain the partnership with HTS. Especially when it seems to be preparing a new surprise maxi offensive against the Syrian army (SAA) in the south of the province, in Zawiya. Otherwise, in fact, the maneuvers would have failed at the start and the military of the TAF would turn into targets, attacked from two fronts.

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