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Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria conducted suicide bombings at Jisr al Shughur

The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), an al Qaeda-affiliated Uighur jihadist group, recently publicized the use of two suicide bombers during the large offensive at Jisr al Shughur in Syria's Idlib province.

The first bomber, identified as Mohammad Anas by the group on Twitter, is shown conducting the suicide bombing in a recent video released by Islam Awazi, the TIP's official media wing. According to the jihadist account online, the bomber detonated near the national hospital in Jisr al Shughur. The hospital was one of the last regime positions to fall in the strategically important city. The second bomber, which has yet to be named by the jihadist group, is featured in a new video released by the media wing.

This is not the first bomber utilized in Syria by the TIP. Another suicide bomber, identified as Dadullah al Turkistani, detonated in an operation in Idlib last year, along with an American bomber, Abu Hurayra al Amriiki of the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda's official branch in Syria. Another bomber, Abdulvaris al Turkistani, also detonated himself in a coordinated assault with the al Qaeda branch sometime last year.

Other TIP fighters that were killed in the fighting are also shown throughout the video, including the group's military commander, Abu Rida al Turkistani, a native Syrian member of the organization. The jihadist organization has showcased its killed fighters in Syria on its official Twitter feed.

The jihadist group fought in the "Battle of Victory" coalition in the Jisr offensive, which included the Al Nusrah Front, Ahrar al Sham, Ansar Sham, Jaish al Islam, the Jabhat Ansar al Din (which includes the Chechen Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar, the Moroccan Harakat Sham al Islam, and the native Syrian group Harakat Fajr al Sham al Islamiyya), Jamaat Ansar al Islam (the Syrian remnant faction of Ansar al Islam), and many others. The coalition claimed victory over Bashar al Assad's forces in Jisr al Shughur after three days of fighting.

The TIP played a significant role in the coalition and in the battle itself. Jihadist Twitter accounts said that the Uighur jihadist group, which goes by Katibat Turkistani in Syria, captured two checkpoints in the initial assault on the city. It also confirmed on Twitter that it had lost 20 fighters during the initial offensive, indicating that the group had more than a supporting role.

[Source: By Caleb Weiss, Threat Matrix, The Long War Journal, NJ, 20Jul15]

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