The US-backed Harakat Hazm, or Hazm Movement, has joined several groups, including Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar, a Chechen-led jihadist group, and the Islamist Jaish Mujahideen (Army of Mujahideen) in fighting the Assad regime in the Handarat District of Aleppo. In the video posted above, one can clearly see Hazm fighters use a US-supplied BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile to destroy a regime tank. Hazm has also posted a video on its YouTube account showing the destruction of a regime BMP in Handarat.
Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar (the Army of the Emigrants and Helpers), also known as the Muhajireen Army, is an al Qaeda-allied jihadist group that is populated by commanders and fighters from the Islamic Caucasus Emirate as well as a large number of Syrians. The group is considered to be the Caucasus Emirate’s branch in Syria. After the death of Islamic Caucasus Emirate leader Doku Umarov, the Muhajireen Army swore allegiance to his replacement, Ali Abu Mukhammad. The jihadist group often fights alongside the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria. The Muhajireen Army was just recently added to the US State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. [See LWJ report, State Department adds Chechen, Moroccan-led jihadist groups to terrorist list.]
Kavkaz Center, which acts as the news site for the Islamic Caucasus Emirate, has posted about the Muhajireen Army’s advances in Aleppo on Twitter. According to Joanna Paraszczuk of From Chechnya to Syria, they said: “JMA kicked out the Assadites [Syrian Arab Army troops or other pro-government forces] from Handarat in N. Aleppo. The kuffar [“infidels”] retreated suffering heavy losses.”
Also partaking in the fighting in Aleppo is Jaish Mujahideen, or the Army of Mujahideen, a rebel coalition that includes several Islamist Free Syrian Army units. The group is reportedly in the process of being vetted by the United States to receive military aid.
Underscoring the complexity of vetting Syrian rebel groups for US assistance, on Sept. 23, the US-backed Hazm Movement released a statement condemning the recent coalition airstrikes in Syria: