The sources said that Nusra’s top military expert, Abu Rafiq, was originally from Uzbekistan, adding Abu Rafiq was killed in the Russian air raids on Nusra’s position in Idlib.
In the meantime, some other sources claimed that Abu Rafiq was killed in a surprise attack carried out by the Syrian Army Special Forces in Idlib.
The sources added that Abu Rafiq was a military expert responsible for training the commanders and members of al-Nusra and Turkistani Islamic Party how to plan war missions and how to prepare forces for battles.
In late January, al-Nusra Front and several militant groups declared that they have decided to form a new coalition named Tahrir Al-Sham Hay’at (The Levant Liberation Board) to narrow down widening rifts amongst their commanders and members.
The Al-Nusra Front, Nouralddeen al-Zinki Movement, Jeish al-Sonah, Jabhat Ansaraldeen and Liwa al-Haq announced that they would act under a united coalition named the Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at.
The five merged terrorist groups would act under the command of Abu Jaber Hashem al-Sheikh.
Hashem al-Sheikh was one of the commanders of Ahrar al-Sham. The new coalition led by al-Sheikh was against Ahrar al-Sham.
Al-Sheikh resigned from his post in Ahrar al-Sham after he was appointed as the commander of Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at.
A number of Ahrar al-Sham’s commanders, including the groups’ spokesman Abu Yusuf al-Mohajer, Hesam Salameh and Abu al-Fatah al-Farqali Mesri also joined the new coalition.
Terrorist groups’ websites claimed that Abu Mohammad al-Joulani will be the top commander of Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at.
Ahrar al-Sham rejected its affiliation to the new coalition, but websites close to the terrorist groups have disclosed that Ahrar al-Sham, Faylaq al-Sham, Jeish al-Izzah, Turkistani party and Liwa al-Tamkin will soon start a new front called Tahrir al-Syria Front.
Nusra terrorists have been attacking positions of other terrorist rivals across Northwestern Syria.