Yousef Al-Basha and the other “Sheikh” families, that of the Sheikhs of Islam are not the same Sheikh families. They are a part of the FSA (Free Syrian Army) and are recognized as a moderate faction in opposition to the Al Qaeda type groups such as Ahrar Al Sham and Jund Al Aqsa. Many Westerners are impressed with the FSA and its’reign of terror’ in the so called liberated zones, even going so far as to compare them with the IRA. While both are very legitimate resistance groups they differ in many ways including ideology, tactics, and philosophy https://yowamod.com.
Ahrar Al Sham is largely composed of Sunnis from Deir Ezzor and uses terror tactics such as beheadings, crucifixion and stoning of civilians. They are not necessarily brutal like the FSA but use their influence and power to ensure that the population they occupy does as they say, which is to fight terrorists. This is a struggle that is proxy war between Sunnis and Shias, not between Sunnis and the West. Some FSA units are made up of FSA members and others are from civilian areas of Syria. In fact, the FSA is at times sponsored by the regime and holds terrorist organizations like Ahrar Al Sham under its wing.
The Sheikh Yunis Movement is the FSA’s branch in Lebanon. It is largely made up of Sunnis who are allied with Hezbollah. They are after all the locals and have the backing of the government in that country. In contrast the FSA has a religious bent and their fighters are mostly Muslims.
Abu Layth Al-Azhari is a leader of the Abu Layth Group. He is a radical religious leader, sometimes described as a Taliban type, who is well known for his radicalism. A few months ago, he was said to have converted to Islam and took up Salafist Islam. In effect he is a terrorist with nothing to lose except his life.
Yousef Al-Basha isn’t a religious leader, but he is a religious leader who has a strong hold on the local populace. He has many followers and is looked upon highly by his peers. There is a fear of him arrest by Salafists for trying to bring sharia law to the Druze community, which is a minority group in Syria.
One of his loyalists, Abu Layth Al-Azhari, is wanted by Interpol. He is believed to be in hiding and if he were to be captured by American authorities, it would spell trouble for the FSA. There is also a rumor that he is dead. This has not been confirmed.
Yousef Al-Basha is no stranger to controversy. He is not only a loyalist of the Free Syrian Army, but is also well known for leading attacks on the Druze community. This is why many people doubt that he would turn against his fellow Arabs if put in a situation where he had to choose between his nation and his religion.
Yousef Al-Basha is a controversial figure, but does have support amongst his peers. This may be why he has not been caught or executed. For all we know he is still out there leading an attack on the Druze. Until then, peace will prevail, as will his death sentence.
Many people in the FSA and JRT will want to execute him because they see his as the leader of the rebellion. Though others wish to get rid of him to prevent further bloodshed. But who will get the glory? Abu Layth Al-Azhari. The FSA says they will execute him first, but they have not stated when.
Many FSA units took part in the capture of the prison and say they are ready to kill him. The truth will probably surprise them though. It seems that the real reason he is in prison is because he tried to escape from a prison and was shot by security forces. They say he is very healthy and fit. Many believe otherwise. People say his wounds are so severe he could possibly die during the operation to recover.
Some say Abu Layth Al-Azhari may be in league with Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Nasserist Party. Haniyeh is considered to be more dangerous than Abu Layth Al-Azhari due to how much support he has from the outside. Haniyeh is also said to have connections to Hezbollah and Iran. If either one of them can find a way to help Haniyeh then it is possible that Abu Layth Al-Azhari is on their side. If he did help the Nasserists then it would be a positive for the FSA. Either way, expect FSA action against the FSA held territory soon.