"Rami Youssef" is his revolutionary alias. This young man — aged 18 with dark features and a full, circular beard and shaved mustache in the tradition of the Prophet — has been in Turkey for less than a week. His elder brother said of Rami, "He wants to go back to Aleppo tomorrow and continue fighting." Speaking to Al-Monitor on Jan. 15 via Skype from his brother's house in Gaziantep, Rami acknowledged that he is from the al-Suddik brigade of the Ahrar ash-Sham Battalions.
It is rare for Salafist fighters to speak with reporters. In his conversation with Al-Monitor, Rami Youssef shed light on the origins and objectives of Ahrar ash-Sham (Free People of Syria), which was established in late 2011 as a Salafist group, as well as the still-fragmented nature of the Syrian opposition.