ALEPPO – Hussam al-Shafi’i, a spokesperson for Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS), said that the jihadi group had rejected a proposal to leave Aleppo city. The proposition was put to JFS by the UN’s Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, on Thursday.
De Mistura has called on the Russian and Syrian governments to stop bombing Aleppo if JFS jihadists leave the city. He said he would be personally willing to accompany the extremists out of the city.
“Fateh al Sham is a Jihadi force and one of the military pillars of the Syria Revolution. It will not disappoint the Muslim people who have been annihilated, so how can a free fighter surrender his family?” al-Shafi’i said.
“Our strength is in God […] and we are determined to break the siege,” the jihadist spokesman said. “We have pledged to be killed as the noblest fighters rather than surrendering and being humiliated.”
Al-Shaf’i ridiculed the powerlessness of the UN to stop the bombing in Aleppo saying, “Is de Mistura able to accompany the Madaya sick children to the nearest hospital? Or is he able to guarantee the delivering of food baskets to one besieged area?!”
“De Mistura was unable to stop the bombardment for one hour on Aleppo or deliver the international aid convoys to the location under UN control,” the jihadist spokesman added.
JFS views de Mistura’s comments as analogous to those made by Bashar Ja’afari, the current Syrian representative to the UN.
“De Mistura proposals come in line with Bashar Assad’s recent remarks to empty Aleppo of the revolutionaries. De Mistura has successfully offloaded the Sunni areas and played a prominent role in the demographic change, and still plays the international role of Ja’afari! Your statement has no value to us, [like] those by Bashar Ja’afari,” the JFS spokesperson concluded.
In July, Jabhat al-Nusra announced that it had changed its name to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and cut its ties to al-Qaeda. The new name means Front for the Conquest of Syria in Arabic. Both Russia and America rejected the rebranding and said that they would continue to target the group.