Full Translation of the First Part Of The Al-Jazeera Interview With Abū Muhammad al-Jūlānī
Full translation of the first part of the interview by
al-Jazeera. Translated by Dutch Mujāhidīn in Syria
Ahmad Mansour: ''May peace be upon to you and the mercy of Allah and His
blessing. I greet you and welcome you in a new episode of the program 'without
borders' from one of the liberated territories in North Syria. Were the recent
military victories took place, which were achieved by Jaysh Al-Fath by its
shadow on the battlefield in and outside Syria, and Jabhat An-Nusra is
considered as one of the essential pillars of Jaysh Al-Fath. Although it is
described different from the others by the US, saying it is a terrorist
In the same time the Syrian regime is bombing the bases of Jabhat An-Nusra and
its men, the American planes and the US coalition planes are also bombing the
same targets. The bases of Jabhat An-Nusra and its leaders were hit by these
missiles, after the US places Jabhat An-Nusra and IS (the Islamic State) in the
same scale, despite the big differences between them in thought and beliefs and
Jabhat An-Nusra was founded in the month January 2012 after Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani
came back from Iraq, where he traveled to mid March 2003 to fight the American
troops who occupied Iraq at that time. Al-Joulani came back to Syria and
published his first publication in it on 24 January (2012) in which he announced
the founding of Jabhat An-Nusra. In it he said 'it strives to return the
Governance of Allah back on earth and to take revenge for the violated honor and
split blood'. Jabhat An-Nusra shocked by its strong and racing operations in its
beginning against the Syrian regime and its intelligence positions in the
And when Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islam State in Iraq and the
Levant, announced the fusing of Jabhat An-Nusra with the Islamic State, Jabhat
An-Nusra announced its renewal of allegiance to Dr. Ayman Az-Zawahiri in the
month of April 2013, refusing what Al-Baghdadi announced. Jabhat An-Nusra was
drawn in to fight with the Islamic State, in which the Islamic State took power
of many territories which were under the control of Jabhat An-Nusra, including
the Syrian territories which are rich of oil resources.
In our episode today we will try to understand the goals and strategy of Jabhat
An-Nusra, and the reality of their aims. With the consideration that it one the
main operating military powers at the moment in the battlefields of Syria, which
is striving to the fall of the regime. And our dialogue today is with the
founder of Jabhat An-Nusra, Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani. Abu Muhammad we greet you
welcome, I thank you for choosing the broadcast Al-Jazeera and the program Bilaa
Hudood (without borders) for this dialogue. I have tens of questions which maybe
are shared by tens of journalist, over all corners of the world, who have asked
you for a interview, but you chose us over the others.
I want to start with the recent victories achieved by Jaysh Al-Fath of which
Jabhat An-Nusra is considered one of its pillars. The liberation of Idlib, and
the military camp Al-Mastouma, and very recently the state hospital in Jishr Al-Shughour.
What is the military strategic importance of these victories?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''In the name of Allah, all praise is due to Allah, and
blessings and peace be upon the Prophet, his family and his companions. As for
what follows, first of all these territories which are consider to be liberated
recently are the first defense lines for the coast areas. The whole territory
between Ladikiya and Idlib was defended by the regime with large military
equipment, like Qarmeen, Mastooma, the town Ar-Rihaa and Jish Al-Shoughour and
many other checkpoints which fall in this category like Hanbal, and Al-Qiyasaat,
and Frayqa, and so forth. These territories are considered the first defense
lines for the coast areas. These territories are Sunni, and then come the
territories in which the Nusairy Al-Lawites reside. They are considered first
defense lines for the Nusairy territories, which the regime gives more
importance than others. The battles were in the Sunni territories, and now they
have moved to the (Nusairy) territories in which the regime enjoys popular
Ahmad Mansour: ''Now you are not further than 30km away from Al-Qirdaha, the
capital of the Al-Lawites, like it is been nicknamed, the town of the Assad
family; in it is the grave of Hafid Al-Assad, the father. Many Al-Lawite
strongholds are now just a stones-throw away from you. What is your future
battle, or what is your vision concerning the Al-Lawite territories, in the
shadow of what has been said; that Jabhat An-Nusra is planning a historical
massacre on the Al-Lawites in the territories Al-Ladiqiya and Al-Sahil (the
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''First of all, the Nusayris or the Al-Lawites have
committed very big massacres against the Sunnis. This regime, since it gained
power forty years ago or so, is built in its fundamental basics upon the Al-Lawite
and Nusayri origin. They are the ones who committed massacres in Hamaa, they are
the ones dropping explosive barrel bombs on the inhabitants and Muslims, in all
the territories, they are the ones torturing in prisons, they are the ones
raping women and killing children, they are the ones who caused millions of
refugees to flee all over the world, some drowned at sea, some of them are
begging for livelihood, some of them live in refugee camps in the surrounding
countries. They are responsible for killing approximately a million of Sunnis in
That's why there are very big confrontations between Sunnis and Al-Lawites. They
hurt and wounded the Sunnis very very much. Of course Bashar Al-Assad does not
fight himself, he fight with these people, these factions, and those that ally
with them of course. There are also people amongst the Sunnis who ally with the
regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Not only Al-Lawites; but they are the root of power.
They are the cord of the regime; who come from these territories. These
territories were save for the last four years, they were not confronted with
attacks, because the first lines of fire were against the regime, and these were
in the Sunni territories. But now the battle has moved in its beginning to the
Ahmad Mansour: ''Some (Al-Lawite) towns are not further away from your fire range
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''We have indeed surrounded them. The Al-Lawites today
understand that this regime is not capable of protecting them. They've built his
throne, the regime exploited this sect a very great deal in order to built the
throne of the Assad family. But now the sorcery turned against the sorcerer, it
turned in to loss. (Having said that) In reality the battle in Shaam will not
end in Al-Qirdaha (the Al-Lawite capital). It will end in Damascus. The end-stop
of this battle will be in Damascus. That's why we put all of our importance in
that which will help extinguish this regime. The Al-Alawites indeed help built
it, but our war is not vindicatory. Even though we consider the Al-Lawites as a
sect which left the Religion of Allah, by the words of the (Islamic) scholars
and jurist. They are not considered as a sect which belongs to the people of
Islam, they left the Religion of Allah and Islam. As for us, we today do not
fight except against those who raise their weapons against us. We fight against
those who fight us.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''So your jurist stance in what you are doing, is defending
against the attacking enemy, and not gaining victories to build a state?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Yes, we differ with others in this. We are still in
the stage of defending against the attacking enemy. We today fight against those
who fight us, whether they be from the Sunnis or not, and there are people from
amongst the Sunnis who fight us.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''So all the fronts who do not raise their weapons, you do not
fight against them?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''At this moment we do not fight those who do not fight
against us. There are Druze towns who do not support Bashar Al-Assad and do not
fight, they are present in the liberated territories and they are not harmed.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Now that you opened the subject of the Druze towns, I was
surprised in the past couple of days when I was traveling in many of the
liberated territories. I traveled hundred of kilometers and saw more than ten
Druze towns, I was surprised that you are the ones who protect these people.
There were also Christian towns. So this was surprising to me.''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''As fo the Druze, we approach them with Dawah. We sent
many preachers to them, they taught them the Aqeedah (Islamic fundaments)
mistakes which they made, and we saw that they refrained from these Aqeedah
mistakes which they made.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''But you do not occupy their towns and destroy their homes, you
do not confiscate their belongings, you do not destroy their places of worship,
you do not do these things at this moment?''
Abu Muhammd Al-Joulani: ''No no, absolutely not. As for the places of worship, if
there was something that goes against the Sharia, than we deal with it in
accordance with the Sharia. If there are grave-temples which they visit, we
consider this as Shirk (polytheism), the Islam considers this as Shirk with
Allah the Almighty, so we withhold them from this. We said we sent people to
them who correct their Islamic beliefs, they teach them the things with which
they left the religion of Islam. As for transgressing against them, this
absolutely did not happen. Likewise the Nusairi Al-Lawites today, after all the
massacres they committed, our religion is a religion of mercy, we are not
criminal killers, we fight those who fight against us. We fight and stand
against oppression. Even the Al-Lawites, if we show them their mistakes and the
reasons for why their Religion, and they refrained from this, and dropped their
weapons, and distances themselves from the deeds of Bashar Al-Assad, if they do
this than they are not only save from us, moreover we will take the responsibly
of protecting them and defending them. Because they will have returned to their
Religion, and distanced themselves from the tyrant Bashar Al-Assad, and become
our brothers. We will protect them the same way we protect ourselves.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Are you now at this moment sending this clear message to the Al-Lawites?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Of course, if the Al-Lawites at this moment take a
decision, not a general decree, but each town (or village) distances itself from
Bashar Al-Assad and distances itself from his deeds against the Sunnis, and
holds its men back from fighting with Bashar Al-Assad in his ranks, and refrains
from the mistakes in Islamic fundaments which put them outside their Religion,
and return back to the Islamic faith; by this they will become our brothers. We
will defend them, like we defend ourselves. And we will forget all the wounds
between us and them. Because we will consider them on deviance in the past.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Forgive me here to cut you off, can we consider this a official
statement from you to all the Al-Lawite towns, with all its inhabitants, men and
women, and everyone who is under your fire range?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Yes of course, and this is even something which we are
already implementing at this moment on the ground. We at this moment for example
have soldiers who have fought with the regime for four years, and they without a
doubt killed Sunnis and so forth. Sometimes we also surround a specific area,
than this soldier comes out and surrenders himself, he says he wants to
surrender himself, so we let him leave to his relatives in security and
reassured, he only has to distances himself from what he did. Even if he killed
thousand men from us.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Before Jishr Al-Shoughour was fallen in your hands, the national
hospital, and I was there I followed the battle from the beginning until it was
sieged. Before it fell, a day or two, some soldiers surrendered themselves.''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''He who surrenders himself before we capture him, gain
power over him in a fierce battle, he may leave in security and reassured to his
relatives, we will not harm him.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Can I consider this an invitation to all the soldiers who are
fighting in the army of the regime?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''This is something we are already implementing and many
people know this, even the soldiers of the regime know this issue. When the
airport Abu Dhuhoor was besieged many people came out (and surrendered
themselves), and this happened many times, not just once of twice in order to
take this specific instance as evidence. It happened many times. Sometimes the
regime frightens them that 'Al-Nusra will slaughter you' or 'those Mujahideen
will slaughter you' and 'Jaysh Al-Fath will kill all of you'. But the opposite
happened. And there are those who were convinced by their relatives to surrender
themselves to us, even after they fled from the besieged areas. I am talking
about a soldiers now, who raised his weapon against us, and distances himself
from the regime, and his deeds, and came and surrender himself and gave up his
weapons, and left in security to his relatives. So how about sects? If it
returned to the Religion of Allah the Almighty, and distanced itself from the
brutal killings of the regime against the Muslims and the Sunnis, they will than
become our brothers. We will protect them from that which we protect ourselves
from. I am saying this because this is the fundament of our Religion, I am not
saying this because we are fleeing from the accusation of oppressing minorities,
and similar propaganda.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''The important question now revolves around this; the western
media outlets focus a lot about your stance towards other ethnicities and
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''We do not care about what the west says, what we care
about is implementing the Sharia of Allah the Almighty. The Sharia of Allah is
very vast, we do not need the west to explain to us what human and animal rights
are. The west always tries to play with balances, they want Shaam to be ruled by
a minority and not by a majority. A minority which they can control. That's why
they want Bashar Al-Assad to stay in power. They at least want the remnants of
this regime to stay, if Bashar cannot stay in power, at the end of this road. So
we refuse to let Islam be a prisoner confronted by these accusations. We have
the pure Religion of Allah the Almighty, we deal with everyone around us with
the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam),
and we are not ashamed of anything, there is nothing which makes us uneasy. The
Christians of example, there is a very big propaganda campaign about the fate of
the Christians. The Christians generally stand in the ranks of the regime at
this moment, and we said that we at the moment fight against those who fight us.
We do not fight against the Christians in a general way; we fight against those
that fight against us. But even if we reached an Islamic rule, and we wanted to
implement the Sharia on Allah's earth, than I see that the Christians have
advantages in the shadow of the Islamic rule.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''I want to talk about the Christians at this moment, and not in
the shadow of the Islamic state which you will maybe govern in the future.''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''The situation of the Christians at this moment is that
we do not fight against those who do not fight against us, and the Christians
are not fighting at this moment (as a whole). If we implement the Islamic rule
in the region, they will be judged according to the Islamic rule we will govern.
The issue of paying Jizya only applies to those who are able to pay it, and
those who are not able do not have to pay it.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''But now you are not requesting anything from them?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''No at the moment we are not.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''And you do not take any women as slaves (war prisoners), like
the media is claiming, and so forth?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''We are not at war with the Christians at the moment,
we at the moment do not blame the Christians for what America is doing. And we
do not blame them for what the Christians Copts in Egypt are doing for example.
Around Medina, in the time of the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam), there
lived twelve Jewish tribes. But he did not blame Ghaybar for what Banu Quraydha
did, and he did not blame Banu Quraydha for what Banu Qaynuqa' did. Everyone is
responsible for his own deeds which deserve to be punished singular from the
other. The punishment should be equal to the deed.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''There are Shia villages besieged by you in these territories, in
Reef Idlib for example, in Al-Qu'a and Qfarya, in Aleppo indeed.''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''These were military barracks of the regime, and they
still are, these are villages fighting against the Muslims and Sunnis. They
abduct from the Sunnis in their neighboring villages. The regime shot canons and
missiles from these villages on all their surrounding territories. These are
villages fighting in a complete sense, so they are besieged at the moment. They
are besieged after the regime left Idlib, so yes they are under blockade.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''The deadline you gave to the Al-Lawites, do you give an open
deadline or closed deadline, while the battle is ongoing and you can enter their
territories at any moment? Some villages even, when you reached certain
territories, you knew that the inhabitants of some surrounding Al-Lawite
villages fled to other villages out of fear for you.''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''By Allah, the organization of Jaysh Al-Fath is based
on mutual consultation (Shura). I am talking about the vision of Jabhat An-Nusra
at the moment, and I do not think that there is someone who disagrees with me in
Jaysh Al-Fath on this. But the basis is built on Shura. And this issue about a
certain deadline is not discussed (yet). But what I said is in the context of
our understanding of the Book of Allah the Almighty, this should be the context
of our dealings with these groups (sects).''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Is Jasyh Al-Fath which consists of seven main fighting groups,
and I talked to some responsible in them, a strategic coalition between Jabhat
An-Nusra and these groups or is just a tactical stage?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Jaysh Al-Fath began as an operation room in the
liberation of Idlib, this gathering was blessed, so it became which is known as
Jaysh Al-Fath and was based upon mutual consultation (Shura), without looking at
the one who is leading this army, it is based on the basis of Shura between all
the groups. It is not a coalition between Jabhat An-Nusra and all these groups,
no it is a coalition between all these groups together with each other. So these
groups are not at one end and Jabhat An-Nusra at the other end. Since we began
this project we consult with all these groups in military work.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''How do you look at these groups from a fundamentally religious
perspective (Aqeedah), your allies?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''They are Muslims, even if they differ somewhat with
us. There are some groups which have some mistakes, we overlook these mistakes,
because of the enormous severity of the battle.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''An how do you look at the general Muslims in the territories
which fall under your control?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''The Muslims of course are Muslims..''
Ahmad Mansour: ''You do not excommunicate (Takfir) them?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''We do not make Takfir on the Muslims, excommunicating
a Muslim needs a religious decree (fatwa) by those specialized in knowledge, and
then the general Muslims can copy the decrees of those in knowledge. We say that
if a specific incident took place, there was an incident with a Muslim from
amongst the Muslims. Then a student of knowledge, someone who is exerting his
effort in gaining knowledge, would be asked to look in the case and decree like
a judge if this person left Islam.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''So Jabhat An-Nusra does not excommunicate a Muslim, except those
who are excommunicated by the Sharia texts? And what about the accusations that
you are Takfiris?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''This is like the accusation 'the terrorist'. The same
goes for 'the Takfiri' in this case. This is an accusation of hostility, against
whomever they want to demonize. They have prepared an accusation for everyone,
which they let loose on him, until they drive away the people from him. This is
the basis (of these accusations).''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Some groups in Jaysh Al-Fath, who are with you in the same
coalition as you are in, are known to have foreign connections and get forgein
backing. From where do you get your backing?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Our assistance comes from the war spoils which Allah
let us take from the regime, and these territories are vast and broad, there are
many liberated areas and many commerce from which we benefit in these areas. And
the land of Shaam is a rich country; it does not need someone to give it
charity. If the backing has conditions to it, than it is a very dangerous kind
of assistance, which leads to politicizations in the future. We, and to Allah
belongs all praise and virtue, refused to sit even once with intelligence
services or any government department or government representatives, and did not
accept anything from them.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''You do not have any connection with any intelligence service or
any foreign country?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''We absolutely do not have any links with any of them.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''And you do not get any backing from certain Islamic countries
which aid some groups?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''We do not receive any backing from any country, which
ever country it may be.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Are the domestic capabilities inside Syria enough to finance a
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''I want to explain something here, there is an illusion
present in some fighting groups concerning their connections to these (foreign)
assistance. First of all, there is no backing without set conditions. There are
conditions set on these groups, and it is not necessary that they say 'we set
this and that as a condition'. Sometimes they are directed while they do not
know. For example, there is an importance on the battlefield to wage war in
Aleppo, than the backers of these groups come and say 'we see the tragedy in Homs and what is happening there, here take this aid to open the road to Homs'.
But the reality is that the battlefield needs an operation in Aleppo and not
Homs. So they direct these fighting groups in this direction so that they can
build a political case for a peace treaty, or something else the UN
representatives want, in Aleppo. Thus these fighting groups turn away from an
essential battle, and maybe it is the other way around and it is Homs which
needs this, but they direct them to Aleppo. So this is a type of pressure, and
not a direct condition (which they set). These people know how to negotiate with
Ahmad Mansour: ''So does this mean that the ones who are directing the battles in
Syria are the foreign backers, because they direct the battles by their
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''No not to this degree, there are groups which they do
not control in the least like Jabhat An-Nusra, and we gather all the other
groups in a battle, when we open a certain front all these groups come and join
Ahmad Mansour: ''These fighting groups like you are present in Syria, but how did
you establish yourselves by the domestic resources in the vast liberated
territories, while they receive foreign aid even though they are like you and
could use domestic resources?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''The problem is that these groups are built upon this
fundament, they depend on foreign backing, and I have researched some of this
assistance, and I found out that this assistance is very meager and it is not
worth to sit with them for it. It comes in the form of some supplies and the
like. And you and everyone saw on the television and so forth, that all these
fighting groups own army tanks for example, so does this backing consist of army
tanks? Army tanks are taken as war spoils. As for finance, they are not financed
to build their organization on it, they finance them only for a specific battle
for example. These groups have not researched this issue much and leaned upon
foreign backing. We of course see a danger for these groups and the battlefield
if this assistance continues like this. It is necessary that there be an
independent decree. The devil uses gaining of provisions as one of his
Ahmad Mansour: ''Did any country or organization or secret service offer you
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''We did not open this space for such offers to begin
with, everyone knows our opinion very good; we do not accept any backing, we do
not even accept these people to send us a messenger. This door is completely
closed as far as we're concerned, we will not open it. We are devoted to stay
free and independent in decisions and decrees, but these groups lean primarily
on their foreign provisions and finance.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''I have traveled a couple of days in Idlib, Aleppo, and
surrounding territories, I traveled hundreds of kilometers, talked to people,
and found out that the territories are wealthy, they are completely self
sufficient from foreign aid. But at the same time I found out that people do not
pay taxes, they do not pay anything which you could impose on them. Even
electricity and water if free, in the territories in which there is electricity
and water. So from where do you get your backing?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''The Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) said 'My
provision is placed beneath the shadow of my spear'. Our finance comes primarily
from the war spoils we take from the regime army.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Is this enough? The territories which you control are vast?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''As for supplies and the likes, it is enough by the
blessings of Allah the Almighty. And there are some trades we conduct in some
liberated territories, and we also develop some war spoils we take. There are
different revenues, which are enough to make us self sufficient. And since a
short while we have been collecting financial aid from Muslims outside Syria,
but in some periods it is difficult and they are prevented from doing so.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''So you accept financial aid from Muslims, but from individuals
and not from countries?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Yes individual aid from Muslims indeed.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''If some countries were prepared to give some aid without any
conditions, would you accept it?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''We do not accept anything from countries and
governments because there is no such thing as unconditional aid. Even if they
claim so, the reality contradicts this, the same will happen as it did with some
fighting groups, they are pressured.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''But you accept the aid from Muslims?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Yes we accept from the general Muslims and this is Halal for us to do so.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''And this is enough for you to continue this long battle?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''With the permission of Allah, the good is abundant and
vast, all thanks belongs to Allah. And Allah does not forget anyone. And the
people love Jabhat An-Nusra, they love the organization of Al-Qaedah. They
empathize with us from this perspective. And we hope from all Muslims that they
finance the Mujahideen, that they finance the people of Jihad in the field of
Jihad, and that they send from their money to Shaam.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Does this mean that the liberated territories are self
sufficient enough and financially capable to aid Jabhat An-Nusra and other armed
groups to wage a prolonged war against the regime?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Of course especially if all these efforts are
combined, because these recourses are divided amongst us, these groups and
platoons. If these efforts were combined under one framework than they would be
completely self sufficient, by the Will of Allah, from their foreign aid. And
even if they received some foreign aid as a side note, there maybe wouldn't be
any problem. But that the decrees of some of these groups, or their motivation
is robbed, or that they are pressured to make specific public announcements or
say specific things in order to please the backers, than these groups would be
robbed of their motivation. And we would pass trough stages much more difficult
than those we passed in an earlier period. If these decrees are kidnapped by
others, not in the hands of these fighting groups, than this will be a problem
on Shaam. Foreign powers only care about their own benefits, their emotions are
not moved by the children and women who are killed and the people who are made
homeless. Their emotions are not moved in the least, they only care about their
benefits, so they direct these groups in the direction of their benefits.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''I have studied many decrees the last couple of days that many of
these fighting groups who are allies with you in Jaysh Al-Fath are pressured at
the moment to expel Jabhat An-Nusra from the coalition, or leave with it, in
order for the foreign aid to continue.''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''They are not capable of doing so, Jabhat An-Nusra is
not a negligible source on the battlefield, all praises are due to Allah
everyone knows that Jabhat An-Nusra is the spearhead in this war, with the
cooperation with all the other factions, we will not downplay the rights of
anyone. Look at the operations in Daraa, and in Al-Qalamoon, in Homs, in Hamaa,
in Idlib and in Aleppo. All the factions know that Jabhat An-Nusra is not a
secondary source on the battlefield, rather it is an essential source which
cannot be ignored. Many people know this, and Jabhat An-Nusra cannot be
sidelines at any possible moment. With the blessing of Allah we have a popular
presence amongst the people, we have many public services running, and we have
military operations which absolutely cannot be ignored. Furthermore we do not
need anyone to accept us or not, we work for the cause of Allah the Almighty.
And many truthful factions, even if some of its leaders were afflicted by
psychological insecurities and turned away from some its values, many soldiers
of these factions and leaders stick closely to us by the blessing of Allah.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''The USA describes you as a terrorist organization since 2012,
the UN blacklisted you. The American planes at this moment, together with the
Syrian planes, side by side in the Syrian air, is executing bombardments on your
bases. I was in a place a couple of days ago and there were heavy bombardments
in it, I later found out that it were bases of Jabhat An-Nusra. On the last day
I went to this place and I found out that the buildings were evaporated. There
were no remnants at all of these buildings, I do not know what type of weapons
they used. In found some shrapnel, I tried to pick it up but it was very heavy.
Not only Jabhat An-Nusra is fighting against the regime, it is in a joint war
along with other parties.''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''There is of course a big international coalition
active on the Syrian battlefield; against the Iranian coalition, with the Nusairys and Hizbullah, and the Syrian regime, and with regional powers, and
with the international coalition and some factions that helped the international
coalition, and also against the group known as the (Islamic) State. So there are
big challenges for Jabhat An-Nusra. As for the international coalition, and the
hypocrisy of the West, than this is known and exposed, it does not need any
explanation or elaboration. This is their role in any place and at any moment.
They are the ones who created these leaders and these tyrants, and they are the
ones who are honored by protecting them. And the international community knows
fully well that the ones who have the most impact on the Nusayri regime are
Jabhat An-Nusra, so that's why they try to weaken us by false claims like saying
that there is a 'Khorasan group'. There is no organization named the Khorasan
group, all these bases were bases of Jabhat An-Nusra, and all those who were
killed are from Jabhat An-Nusra, and some civilians who they also hit by these
Ahmad Mansour: ''I found the place of the so-called Khorasan group, I went there
and I asked the inhabitants, and I got to know that those who were killed were
from the people of the village?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''There is nothing called the group of Khorasan, we only
heard about this from the Americans. The field is exposed for everyone among the
people, and there are no secret and public organizations, all the organizations
are public and exposed. There is Jabhat An-Nusra, and there are people from
Khorasan who waged Jihad in Afghanistan and Pakistan and came to the Syrian
battlefield, yes these people are present amongst our ranks. The Americans of
course claimed that they tried to attack America and that they pose a threat,
and these kinds of claims, but the Americans could not prove anything about this
claim, and it is not the case.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Is it possible that Syria turns into a battlefield with a battle
between Jabhat An-Nusra and the West?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''As for Jabhat An-Nusra, the guidelines we received
from Dr. Ayman, may Allah protect him, is that the importance of Jabhat An-Nusra
in Shaam consist of extinguishing the regime and its symbols, its allies I mean
like Hizbullah and others, and to cooperate with the factions who strive for a
rightly guided Islamic governance which the Muslims can enjoy. And the
guidelines we got is that we refrain from using Shaam as a base to attack the
West and Europe, so that we not disturb the current ongoing battle. Maybe the
organization of Al-Qaedah executes this, but not from Shaam. These are
guidelines and the decree we received from Dr. Ayman.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''So this strategy at this moment is only restricted to Shaam?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Yes Shaam and Hizbullah.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''What if American bombardments continued against you and your
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''The good is open and it is a right for every person to
defend himself, (so yes) the good is open. The guidelines we received until now
is to refrain from attacking the West and America from Shaam. And we abide by
the guidelines of Dr. Ayman, may Allah protect him. But if this situation
continues like this I believe that there will be outcomes which will not be in
the benefit of the West and not in the benefit of America.''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''The good is open and it is a right for every person to
defend himself, (so yes) the good is open. The guidelines we received until now
is to refrain from attacking the West and America from Shaam. And we abide by
the guidelines of Dr. Ayman, may Allah protect him. But if this situation
continues like this I believe that there will be outcomes which will not be in
the benefit of the West and not in the benefit of America.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''What is your view about the American role in the Syrian war?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Its role is supporting the regime.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''America is supporting the regime?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Yes America is supporting the regime and is showing
hypocrisy in the media; that it is with the Syrian people and against this
regime. But America is supporting the regime in every possible way. The most
noticeable way they are supporting the regime is by bombing Jabhat An-Nusra
which is defending the Muslims, and everyone can attest to this. So why are they
targeting it? Especially when we create pressure against the regime it starts
their attacks against Jabhat An-Nusra. The American role with the international
coalition is a role of drugging these peoples and the people of Shaam, until it
reaches a political solution of agreement, of course this agreement will be on
the blood of Sunni Muslims. Whether Bashar stays in power or was removed and the
regime stayed, Bashar was not the one who did the killing and slaying himself,
he rather gave the orders, and the model of this regime did not change. America
wants for Shaam what happened to Yemen, that once face leaves and that another
face replaces him, in any case there must be a government which kneels for the
American dictation. America describing every organization and government, is
actually a description for everyone who leaves the international and the
American dictation. So their role is one of major support for the regime, their
importance is only drugging these peoples by some conferences like Geneva 1, 2
and 3, the Arabic conference, one global conference after the other, etc.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''You did not participate in any of these foreign political
conferences which the West organizes about the Syrian issue and its solution.''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''We mentioned in the previous meeting that even the
children of Syria do not accept this, everyone in Shaam agrees on this issue.
Nobody talks about this except for a few politicians who live outside Syria and
who do not feel the pain of the Muslims in Shaam in the first place. This is
something which is clear to the young and the old. The people choose, and they
know that the Mujahideen with the power of their weapons will change this
situation that they are in, not the conferences of Geneva and not the meeting in
Washington or with the UN, and so forth.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''From the things I have witnessed when I traveled between the
villages and towns from Aleppo to Idlib and other places, is that the people in
the territories who consist of approximately five million Syrians, live in
almost complete security except for the barrel bombs which are dropped by the
regime and likewise some of the coalition airstrikes against them. Is there
coordination between the planes in the Syrian airspace?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Of course, this matter is known to everyone, the no
such thing as one airspace for two different airplanes, this goes for commercial
airlines so how about military airplanes? There are air lines for commercial
flights, a Saudi and a Turkish airline go up and they have to coordinate between
each other, so how about military flights? Do you believe that an American
airplanes enters an airspace while at the same time there is a fighting airplane
of the Syrian regime present without them coordinating between each other? How
can this be?''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Do you accuse America of coordinating with the regime in the
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''We have evidences for this. This is something obvious,
Ahmad Mansour: ''What kind of evidences do you have?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''We have camera images of American airplanes and Syrian
Ahmad Mansour: ''Some of the Mujahideen showed me some images in my travels
saying these are American airplanes and right after that they showed me Syrian
airplanes. And is was surprised about this issue, how is it possible for two
airplanes from two governments to fly together in such harmony.''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Yes and in the midst of a warzone airspace, if it was
a neutral airspace maybe, but in a warzone airspace.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''But you have evidences for camera images?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Yes we have camera images if you wish we could provide
them to you.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Yes please if you could provide them. The countries which
support the regime in Syria are eager to prevent the fall of Damascus, and in
your vision at the moment you said something which maybe sounds strange to many
people, that the first country eager to prevent the fall of the Syrian regime is
the United States of America. What about the direct support from countries in
the surrounding region of the Syrian regime, and is also eager to prevent its
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''You mean like Iran or Hizbullah?''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Like Hizbullah, since you are involved in battles with them, and
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Well, as for Hizbullah. Hizbullah knew from the
beginning of the Jihad (in Syria), not from the beginning of the revolution,
they knew that the brutality and criminality of this regime was capable of
extinguishing these protests which occurred at the beginning. But then they saw
the emergence and of Jihad, the Mujahideen and the flags of Jihad, they saw the
situation took a seriousness turn at that time. They completely realize that the
fate of Hizbullah is strongly and integrally and publicly connected to the fate
of Bashar Al-Assad. The elimination of Bashar Al-Assad, means the elimination of
Hizbullah automatically. If Bashar Al-Assad was eliminated it is only a matter
of time for Hizbullah. Hizbullah has many enemies in Lebanon, and these enemies
will become stronger and their voices will raise, just by the disappearance of
Bashar Al-Assad. Because Bashar Al-Assad is the public backer of Hizbullah.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''And not the opposite?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''No not the opposite, at the moment Hizbullah is
assisting Bashar Al-Assad because of the condition the regime has reached, and
it trying with everything it has, it is trying in vain with everything it got to
rescue what is left of the live of Bashar Al-Assad. Because they know that the
end of Bashar Al-Assad means its own end. So they entered a war, despite their
knowledge about the losses which they will confront, big losses whether on the
public or political level, and even on the military level, it entered an
inadequate but necessary war, from their perspective. They know this very well
from the beginning of the situation. And we, until this very moment, despite the
battles which are ongoing in Al-Qalamoon, Jabhat An-Nusra and other factions in
Shaam did not built a large offensive against them yet, we are fighting against
Hizbullah at the moment with the very small numbers we have in Al-Qalamoon.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''But Hassan Nasrallah talked about the battle in Al-Qalamoon,
that it is a decisive battle and they have achieved victories by which he
expelled the Syrian rebels?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Hizbullah is trying to frighten the Lebanese, that
there is danger approaching Lebanon, but the reality is that the danger is
approaching Hizbullah and not Lebanon. Lebanon has no connection to this danger.
So he is trying to mobilize all these available recourses in Lebanon with the
pretext that this a danger to everyone and not only on him. That's why the
battle in Al-Qalamoon is indeed decisive for him, as far as he is concerned.
Because he is trying to protect his Western borders and some Shia towns.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''And as far as you are concerned?
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''The battle there is a guerilla war, and by the
blessings of Allah we have great trust in Allah the Almighty and after that in
the brothers who are present there. If we were not busy in some battles against
the Syrian regime, and if the organization known as the (Islamic) State did not
set up roadblocks between us and them,..''
Ahmad Mansour: ''About the organization known as the (Islamic) State, is true
that they attacked you in the back in Al-Qalamoon?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Yes, there is battle going on against the regime on
one side and against Hizbullah on the other..''
Ahmad Mansour: ''What is the benefit for organization of the (Islamic) State, to
attack you, the Mujahideen, while you are fighting against Hizbullah and the
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''The regime is fighting from one side, and Hizbullah is
fighting from another side, and the organization of the State on another. They
see that there is a meeting of benefits or something similar, they did this more
than once, in Hasakah, in Deir Zor, even in Aleppo, they did this more than
once. They use the attacks of the regime against us in a certain position, thus
they attack from another position, and from weak points in other positions. This
is a policy of theirs which they maybe abide by.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''What is the strategic and military importance of the region Al-Qalamoon,
which made the leader of Hizbullah, Hassan Nasrallah, eagerly to engage this
vast region, whether it be in the media or military?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''As for Hizbullah, there are borders from their side
which border Shia town there, and he considers these borders as being part of
Lebanon, so he tries to secure them to the best of his capability. And as for
us, it is an important center from which we can enter Damascus, it is one of the
centers from which you can enter Damascus, if we would start a battle in
Damascus in the future. And as for us also, the people of Al-Qalamoon are our
people, some of the brothers who fight there are from the people of Al-Qalamoon.
These are their towns and lands from which they were expelled last year, and
they are trying to liberate it again.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''When I tried to understand the vastness of the battle on the
map, I found out that it spanned over more than 70km, and the mountainous
territory is very harsh.''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Yes, it is not as easy as the people vision.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''But will you enter in other battles with Hizbullah, or are you
content after withdrawing?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''The battle is ongoing, these territories are not like
towns, in order to say that we lost this and that, there are mountains present,
with hills and so forth. This creates maneuvers, you leave this hill and then
move to that hill, these are the characteristics of guerilla warfare. Not like
what is happening at the moment in Idlib, and in other territories, like Daraa
and others; they have evolved to military wars. But as for Al-Qalamoon than we
are still in the stage of guerilla warfare.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''So the war will expand in Al-Qalamoon?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''The battle will expand, we will not be divided by this
matter, we will stay focused on Damascus and on the fall of this regime, if it
falls, than the situations will automatically change. And I want to stress out
that the fall of Bashar Al-Assad will not take very long, the battle is in its
end phase, I do not want to be too optimistic, but the battle is going really
well and is entering its end by the Will of Allah.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Here I have my doubts about the battle of Damascus that it is a
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Hizbullah is a matter of time, with the fall of Bashar
Al-Assad it will automatically draw back to the south, even its presence is
going to be in position of negotiation, this will happen without us entering
Lebanon. This will happen by the forces which are already present in Lebanon.
And I call from this seat all the forces and parties who are present in Lebanon
to understand what I am saying fully well, and to direct itself towards it.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Are you calling the Syrian-Lebanese forces, which doesn't ally
with the Syrian regime, to participate in the fall of the regime?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Of course, because it is in all our benefit.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''What for benefit do they have in the fall of Bashar Al-Assad?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Lebanon is living in oppression from the regime of Bashar Al-Assad for nearly forty years, and all the Lebanese know the bitterness
which they taste from the authority of the regime. It is true that the regime
withdrew from Lebanon in 2005 after they killed Rafic Al-Hariri, but they left
the country in the hands of Hizbullah which is not less brutal and criminal than
the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. So after the regime withdrew he trusted
everything in the hands of its ally Hizbullah, the strongest in Lebanon. So
that's why Hizbullah made many adversaries in Lebanon, and it is impossible for
Hizbullah to govern Lebanon with that which its wants. Lebanon is very complex.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Hassan Nasrallah many times said that the regime in Syria will
not fall because of the assistance of Hizbullah and his support side by side. If
it not were for Hizbullah, Bashar Al-Assad would have fallen a long time ago?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''This is a claim bigger than its extent in the reality,
there are many militias which the regime of Bashar Al-Assad used. And he leaned
a lot on the army he had, this regime is not this insignificant, we are fighting
against this regime and it is a fierce enemy who has big capabilities. Hizbullah
is assisting it, but not only them, they are just in the spotlights. There are
tens of Iraqi battalions which came and assists the regime, there are factions
from Afghanistan, etc.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Can you give an estimate of how many soldiers of Hizbullah
assist the regime?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''In reality we cannot, we do not have the information
to do so.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''What are the important front were they could be found?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''They are strongly and publicly present in Al-Qalamoon,
and in other places like in East Ghouta for example, or in the failed attack
they executed in Al-Qunaitira, they and the Iranians and these other parties,
they have turfs in nearly all the places but most of them are advisory and the
like. They are present in nearby Shia territories like Nubl and Zahraa, and the
Shia territories Al-Fu'aa and Kfarya. It is not due to the power the regime that
they are able to create these gaps and inactivity, it is due to the internal
differences and infighting which occurred; the regime took advantage of this and
made these approaches.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''But the battle in Syria, is it indeed a decisive war for
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Yes it is a decisive war for them, we said that their
fates are strongly intertwined.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Hizbullah stand next to Al-Assad to protect itself primarily
before it is protecting the Syrian regime?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''This and that both.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Does the fall of the Assad regime mean the end of Hizbullah in
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Of course, Hizbullah knows its own situation very
well. If Shaykh Abu Malik, may Allah protect him, in Al-Qalamoon and his few men
are fighting and did all these damage to Hizbullah and bewildered them, and made
the issue of Hassan Nasrallah an issue of 'the fate of whole Lebanon'. How then
if Jabhat An-Nusra, or Jaysh Al-Fath completely, or the different factions who
fight Hizbullah, were to seriously build a battle against Hizbullah? What will
be their fate?''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Are you convinced that the battle against Hizbullah is coming
without a doubt?''
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Of course, it is a coming battle. Even if they take
Al-Qalamoon at this moment, or they don't. I have mentioned, and I will stress
this again so that the viewers understand this well, is that the fate of
Hizbullah is connected to the fate of the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. The
elimination of Bashar Al-Assad means the elimination of Hizbullah.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''I have many themes remaining; the role of Iran in the whole
region, its assistance to the Syrian regime; you relation with the organization
of the (Islamic) State, and the big problems whether in beliefs or military
between you and them; your vision for the future of Syria, and the future of the
regime, and the future of the continuous battles in Syria. I welcome you in a
next episode. I have taken a lot of your energy and time, and thank you for your
participation. I insisted much on you to show your face to the people, but
because no one knows you until this moment I have respected this matter. And I
thank you for it. I just wanted to explain to the people why you do not show
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani: ''Many people know me, but our policy is not to expose
ourselves in the media.''
Ahmad Mansour: ''Maybe you will fulfill our request in the next episode. I thank
you. And likewise I thank the viewers for your attentive listening, follow us
next week to complete our dialogue with the leader of Jabhat An-Nusra, and its
founder in Syria, Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani. In closing I salute you, this was
Ahmad Mansour greeting you from one of the liberated territories in North Syria.
May peace be upon to you and the mercy of Allah and His blessing.''