Ghuraba al-Sham (jihadist group)

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Ghuraba al-Sham
Participant in 2007 Lebanon conflict and Syrian civil war
Active 2003–present
Ideology Sunni Jihadism[1]
Leaders Mahmud al-Aghasi (until 2007)[2]
Area of
operations
Syria Syria
Lebanon Lebanon
Iraq Iraq[3]
Allies Al-Nusra Front [4]
Syria Syrian intelligence (formerly)[5][6]
Opponents Syria Syrian Armed Forces
Democratic Union Party[7]
Battles
and wars
Battle of Ras al-Ayn[4]

Ghuraba al-Sham (Arabic: غرباء الشامGhurabā’ ash-Shām, "Strangers/Foreigners of the region of Syria") is a group made up of jihadists of Turkish and former Eastern bloc origin[1] who have participated in the smuggling of foreign fighters to Iraq, have intervened in Lebanon during the 2007 Lebanon conflict[6]and have fought in Syria during the Syrian civil war.[1] The group coordinated with the Al-Nusra Front in clashes with the PYD in November 2012.[7]

Structure[edit]

The group was founded by Aleppo preacher Mahmud al-Aghasi, also known as Abu al-Qaqa. He was often accused by Syrian opposition parties of working for the Mukhabarat and during the 2007 Lebanon conflict he was known as the Godfather of Fatah al-Islam.[6] The group was widely believed by many Lebanese people to be smuggling fighters to Iraq during the Iraq War and later to the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp to help Fatah al-Islam under the alleged auspice of the Syrian government.[6] Abu al-Qaqa was killed in Aleppo by a former prisoner who was held by Americans during the Iraq War[8] on 28 September 2007.[6]

Members of the group were recruited in Syria and sent to Iraq to fight during the Iraq War.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Jihadists eclipsing other rebels in Syria’s Aleppo". Daily News Egypt. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  2. ^ جماعة «غرباء الشام» الإسلامية. "جماعة «غرباء الشام» الإسلامية - السكينة". Assakina.com. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  3. ^ a b "Syria's Islamic Movement and the Current Uprising: Political Acquiescence, Quietism, and Dissent". Jadaliyya. 21 February 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b AFP (18 January 2013). "Raging clashes pit Syrian Kurds against jihadists". NOW. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  5. ^ As-Safir (14 November 2012). "Kurds Caught in Crossfire In Northwest Syria Battle". Al Monitor. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e McGregor, Andrew (October 2007). "Controversial Syrian Preacher Abu al-Qaqa Gunned Down in Aleppo". Terrorism Focus 4 (33). Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  7. ^ a b AFP/Reuters (22 November 2012). "Jihadist rebels in standoff with Syria Kurds: NGO". Al Arabiya. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "Radical Syrian cleric 'shot dead'". BBC. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 

External links[edit]