Jihadists Killing Fighting in Syria Mourned Back Home in Jordan

Jordanian jihadists are mourning the deaths of fallen comrades who have gone to fight in Syria, reports Tamer al-Samadi. The funerals of veterans of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Chechnya show the growing role of foreign jihadists in Syria, where they believe they're fighting “in the name of God.”

al-monitor Syrian refugees and locals pray near the wrapped bodies of Syrian refugees Fayyad, 25, and Mohammad, 22, during their funeral in the Jordanian city of Al Ramtha, near the Syrian border April 15, 2012. Photo by REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed.

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jordanian regime, jihadists, jihadist salafists, jihadist, assad

Sep 24, 2012

During the past few days, several Jordanian cities have been mourning Jordanian jihadists who were killed in Syria at the hands of forces loyal to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, said leaders in the jihadist movement.

Yesterday [Sept. 24], the city of Zarqa near Amman — known for exporting hundreds of fighters to Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya — held a memorial ceremony in honor of one of the jihadist fighters who perished in Syria. Three days ago, jihadist Baraka Abu Yassin was pronounced dead in the Syrian city of Hama following clashes with forces loyal to Assad.

On Sept. 22, the jihadist movement also organized a similar ceremony for a deceased fighter in the Baqaa camp, the large refugee camp for Palestinians in the northeast of Amman.

Hundreds of elegies were delivered in honor of Montasser Beiruti, alias “Ashek al-Hawr,” who was pronounced dead in the city of Idlib, in north Syria, during clashes with government forces last week.

During the memorial ceremony, where confections and iced juices were distributed in celebration of the “martyr’s wedding,” Mozer al-Tayyar Abed Shahada, alias “Abu Mohammed al-Tahawy,” promised a “stinging” retaliation against the killings carried out by the Syrian regime.

“Salafist jihadists will fight in Syria and in any place that violates the sanctity and honor of Muslims,” Tahawy said, adding that “Assad’s regime has shed the blood of Sunnis and has been looking after the safety of the Zionist entity.”

Tahawy’s harangue stirred up a fervor among the audience, who were mostly young bearded men with long hair.

During the past few months, dozens of Jordanian Salafist jihadists have declared that they were crossing the border to join the rebels in Syria. Jordan shares a 35-km-long border with its northern neighbor.

Although they are few in number, the deceased jihadists have had a significant importance as they previously fought in Iraq, Afghanistan and Chechnya, according to Hassan Abu Haniya, a researcher on jihadist movements.

In an interview with Al-Hayat, Haniya said, “Jordanian jihadists are fighting under the banner of Al-Nusra Front, which is the main jihadist group in Syria that has carried out several operations. They also fight alongside Abdullah Azzam Brigades, Fatah al-Islam, Jund al-Sham and al-Faruq Brigades.”

Although many Salafist jihadists managed to cross into Syria and fought for several different groups, Jordanian security forces have arrested some of the militants and referred them to the state's military court.

On Sept. 22, Jordanian security forces arrested a group of jihadists who were trying to infiltrate Syrian territory. They were accompanied by a woman who was trying to follow her husband, who had left Jordan to fight in Syria, according to jihadist leaders.

Moreover, on the same day, security forces arrested the nephew of the late al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as he attempted to sneak into a village near Daraa, which is close to the border with Jordan.

In the same vein, a prominent jihadist leader, Mohammad Shalabi, alias “Abu Sayyaf,” declared yesterday [Sept. 23] that four of his Jordanian supporters have arrived in Syria to fight against regime forces.

“Four jihadist members have left for Syria on Friday. Today, we have learned that they joined the mujahideen in the city of Daraa,” he said.

In a statement to Al-Hayat, Abu Sayyaf added that “the number of Jordanian Salafists in Syria exceeds 100 fighters.”

While jihadist leaders have, on more than one occasion, stressed that Jordanian fighters are going to Syria of their own volition, Abu Sayyaf’s position was clear as he addressed the Syrian regime, saying: “We are not intimated by Bashar al-Assad. We tell him that we will fight him.”

The Salafist leader believes that “the terms of jihad have been met in Syria,” and those who are fighting alongside the Syrian people “are fighting in the name of God.”

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