Talk:List of armed groups in the Syrian Civil War

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Total military forces in Detailed List, and comments on the Detailed List in general[edit]

There's something wrong with the numbers here. I ran the numbers and added up all the opposition forces, and came out with 170,250 +/- 15,250, while the pro-Assad forces come out to around 443,000. That seems to be way too asymmetrical for the fighting we've seen, which has seen the rebels hold heavily contested territory such as Aleppo for around 3 years now. I understand that Al Qaeda is a master of asymmetrical warfare, but they've never been that good at holding territory. Not to mention that the Syrian forces are probably better supplied and certainly better organized than the alphabet soup rebellion.

Assad certainly does not have the forces attributed to him here, and I think I know where the error is. The source for the Syrian Armed Forces number is from an Agence France Presse story hosted on Google, quoting a breakdown of Syrian military forces from August 2013. The numbers sort of match the number given here, 319,000, although that particular number is not mentioned anywhere in the article. However, if you add up all the numbers in the article given for the active military, the paramilitary, and the reserves (but not special forces), and then divide by 2, you get 317,000, pretty close to the 319,000 written here. Since the article mentions that "The nominal pre-war strength of the army has likely been reduced by half", whoever added that number probably did divide the total count in half, although they shouldn't have, since the article is talking about existing forces and the author had already done the math. I don't see any way to get closer to 319,000, although if you try different combinations of numbers you might be able to figure it out.

But it makes no sense to count reservists as part of the active military. It also makes no sense to not count special forces, unless they're included in another count, and they don't seem to be. And the paramilitary seems to be counted again further down the list, leading to a hugely inflated number.

Also, due to the fluctuating nature of alliances on the rebel side, I have a feeling that those numbers are probably wrong as well. But someone else will have to do the grunt work on that. Truthfully, I would probably drop the whole section, since the numbers are fluctuating so rapidly as groups merge and split that there are bound to be enormous errors in there all the time. But for now I'm just editing the count for the Syrian military to be 228,000, which includes the special forces but not the paramilitary or the reserves.

This is my first time editing Wikipedia, so I'm sorry if I did something wrong. I've been told that I'm supposed to Be Bold. Thanks to everyone for taking on such a complicated but important topic.

Hystanes (talk) 00:51, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

I was the person that had added the number for the Syrian Armed Forces; you are correct; the number should likely be 178,000 in addition to the 50,000 elite troops mentioned in the article. Thanks for the correction.David O. Johnson (talk) 01:39, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Thank u !![edit]

I wanna thank the creator of this page because we really needed it.
one more thing we need is a Template like this Template:Armed Iraqi groups in the Iraq War and the Iraq Civil War

  • The word Syrian opposition is enough as Mujaheddin are Part of the armed opposition.
  • Kurdish Salaheddine Battalion is one of thousands why do u mention it. it's part of Al-Tawhid Brigade which consist of tens of Battalions and Al-Tawhid Brigade is part of Syrian Islamic Liberation Front which is an umbrella of many brigades one of them Al-Tawhid Brigade.
  • Al-Nusra Front is part of the international Al-Qaeda org while Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's leader has many problems with Ayman Al-Zwahery (Al-Qaeda leader)
  • Ghuraba al-Sham Front is the group active in syria while Ghuraba al-Sham or what u call the Jihadist group ceased to exist after the death of it's leader.
  • Al-Abbas brigade is an iraqi militia so it should be under (Foreign militants)
  • as this should be a detailed page why don't we add the different groups under the name of it's umbrella organisation e.g. Ahrar al-Sham, Al-Haqq Brigade, Al-Fajr Islamic Movement ... under Syrian Islamic Front. 3bdulelah (talk) 07:24, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Also u may add Jund al-Sham to the list. 3bdulelah (talk) 07:31, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback
  • Okay, Al-Qaeda issue. Sopher99 says Al-Nusra is not part of Al-Qaeda and removed it from that category, however Al-Nusra swore allegiance to Ayman Al-Zawahiri. Does that warrant recognition as a branch of Al-Qaeda? I think it does. Also, Al-Qaeda in Iraq is a branch of Al-Qaeda, but it is also a part of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. I'm not sure how to frame this.
  • I will keep Kurdish Salaheddine Battalion and try to add detail of all brigades/groups etc involved in the war.
  • I'll add the groups you mentioned. DylanLacey (talk) 06:28, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks but the groups I mentioned are part of Syrian Islamic Front not Syrian Islamic Liberation Front and they are only an example. In each separate article e.g. Syrian Islamic Liberation Front and Syrian Islamic Front u will find the different groups 3bdulelah (talk) 22:00, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Different Kurd organization[edit]

There is another Kurdish organization that has fought with the YPG called the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union. I'm not sure where to put it.David O. Johnson (talk) 22:45, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union

Militarily supported by:

This is how I had it laid out, but Lothar removed it. I believe Azadi Kurdish Party is the same as the Kurdish Salaheddine Battalion which is part of Al-Tawhid Brigade which is part of the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front. Personally I think the combatant should be included twice so that all combatants can be displayed. That is, after all, the reason I created this page. DylanLacey (talk) 02:10, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

This "Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union" (which is essentially defunct at this point) hasn't "fought with the YPG". It was in fact founded as a political (not military) counterweight to the power and influence of the PYD. The PYD likes to harass and intimidate Kurdish opposition parties, but to regard that as being somehow in open military conflict with the YPG and aligned with the rebels is downright ludicrous—especially now that Syrian Kurdish parties have largely set aside their differences after Qaida and allied rebels launched offensives against Kurds across the north of the country.
The inclusion of the KRG is even more laughable. Given his experiences in the mid-1990s, to think that Barzani would create a group to wage civil war among Kurds in West Kurdistan is just plain stupid. What's more, no Peshmerga have even set foot in Syria due to a political standoff between the PYD and Hewler—and the fact that the KRG does not want to risk another Kurdish civil war.
And no, Azadi is not at all the same as Salaheddine. The former is a secular political party that is in political opposition to the PYD, the latter is an Islamist armed group unequivocally integrated with the rebels. Pro-PYD media sometimes claim shadowy connections between the groups, but only because it tries to use the jash image of Salaheddine to smear the Kurdish opposition parties. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 05:28, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
According to the article: Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union has clashed with Popular Protection Units, has 1,500 fighters in Syria and is being militarily supported by the Kurdistan Regional Government (it is training troops for the Union). These statements are cited. Would you then agree to Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union being added to the Kurdish column with a dividing line and a note indicating clashes with the Popular Protection Units, in the way Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has been noted in regards to the Free Syrian Army? DylanLacey (talk) 07:19, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
No separation line. "1,500 fighters" is an old claim by only one party leader, not the entire coalition. What's more, there's no evidence that these fighters have participated in any fighting. The source says that the KRG is allegedly training fighters to be sent in, but as I have said: no Peshmerga have actually entered Syria. The "conflict" between these groups is purely political and waged in propaganda, not bullets. Right now these parties are pushing to convince the PYD to actually allow their fighters into Syria so they can fight alongside the YPG against the rebels because the PYD suppresses other parties from establishing militias. On the other side, the KRG has long since closed the sole border crossing at Simalka due to political disagreements (causing yet more disagreements at home), which means that no Peshmerga can enter Syria.
Recently, KDP-S leader Abdulhakim Bashar has even reportedly voiced support for the YPG in the latest conflict with Arab-Islamist rebels. Mustafa Cuma of one branch of the Azadi party consistently denies accusations that he collaborates with the FSA against the PYD, while the head of the other branch politely reminds the PYD that they should tone down the rhetoric to boost Kurdish unity at this critical time. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 15:08, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Some changes[edit]

I have added some FSA "brigades" and "batallions" not previously included. Another question is the order of apparition, specially for FSA and SILF. Should we use alphabetical order, like with SIF? Reepecheep (talk) 14:52, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Preferably they would be ordered by strength. However, in the absence of this information, alphabetical order could be employed. DylanLacey (talk) 07:00, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

What is Ghuraba al-Sham[edit]

On the list of organisations, Guraba al-Sham is grouped with the "Jihadists" and shown with a Qaeda type flag. Yet on the table and elsewhere it is charaterized as "secular" and as having fought against such groups. Can anyone explain? Qulmos Sept 26 13

There are two groups with the same name; they have different founding dates and different leaders.David O. Johnson (talk) 18:47, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

What is Ghuraba al-Sham[edit]

On the list of organisations, Guraba al-Sham is grouped with the "Jihadists" and shown with a Qaeda type flag. Yet on the table and elsewhere it is charaterized as "secular" and as having fought against such groups. Can anyone explain? Qulmos Sept 26 13 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sukkoth Qulmos (talkcontribs) 06:10, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Army of Islam[edit]

I have made some changes in the list of sub-groups, please check them. One more question: should we add the recently created "Army of Islam" as a new branch, or is it part of SILF? Reepecheep (talk) 10:46, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

It looks like it is already added here:

David O. Johnson (talk) 02:04, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Coalitions section[edit]

The subgroups section of the article for the Free Syrian Army and Syrian Islamic Liberation Front contains the same info that the Rebel coalitions section would have for the FSA and the SILF if they were expanded. Perhaps we should include the total number of fighters, with a link to the subgroups section instead of duplicating the same information.David O. Johnson (talk) 07:23, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Islamic Front[edit]

SILF and SIF merged to form the Islamic Front — Preceding unsigned comment added by 3bdulelah (talkcontribs) 15:29, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

North Korea[edit]

North Korea is a direct military supporter of the Syrian regime according to reliable sources, including the Telegraph. Can it be re-added? I tried to understand the reason given for its removal in the edit summary, but I couldn't understand it. Thanks DylanLacey (talk) 02:18, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

SIF and SILF[edit]

Should the information on sub-groups of the former SIF and SILF which do not belong to groups which joined Islamic Front (Syria) be included in that coalition or separately? I have reverted attempts to remove all information regarding SILF and SIF sub-groups. These actions were unexplained, unjustified and illogical. Even if the SILF and SIF do not exist anymore and the sub-groups aren't considered part of the Islamic Front a) the sub-groups still exist b) they still would be included as having historically been part of the SIF and SILF. P.S. all the information on the sub-groups of SIF and SILF is sourced. DylanLacey (talk) 02:18, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

New Coalition?[edit]

Its seems the "secular" militias (at least 46 of them) have formed a new coalition: Should we wait for some confirmation, before adding it? Reepecheep (talk) 09:02, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Page moved. No responses after full listing period, but the request seems logical enough for consistency with Syrian Civil War (non-admin closure)  — Amakuru (talk) 12:27, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

List of armed groups in the Syrian civil warList of armed groups in the Syrian Civil War – The main page was just moved from "Syrian civil war" to "Syrian Civil War", there should be consistency. Charles Essie (talk) 20:10, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

  • I fixed the request for you; you were proposing a title in Talk namespace. --BDD (talk) 23:21, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Armed groups fighting with Assad[edit]

These armed groups are fighting with Assad:

3bdulelah (talk) 22:13, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia works by attributing claims to reliable sources. Outrageous claims like "Slavic Legions" will be removed unless supported by equally hard evidence.--Kathovo talk 13:50, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
A Russian military-contractor group called the "Slavonic Corps" was confirmed to have been present in Syria and to have actually (if accidentally) engaged in combat. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 16:05, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
These allegedly "unreferenced" armed groups were referenced.
  1. ^ "Al-Qamishli: Kurdish Democratic Political Union-Syria established". Kurd Watch. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Wood, Josh (6 February 2013). "Syria's Kurds try to balance security and alliances". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Liakos, Panagiotis (29 September 2013). "Syria: Greek Nationalist Socialists fighting with Assad's regime far more dangerous than Golden Dawn". Anarkismo. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Whelan, Brian (October 2013). "Are Greek Neo-Nazis Fighting for Assad in Syria?". Vice. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "الحرس القومي العربي فصيل جديد من المرتزقة بعد انكشاف المشروع الفارسي". televisionOrient. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 

Do any sources exist for

Here is a source 3bdulelah (talk) 16:38, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Liwa dhu al-fiqar is a questionable translation of Liqa Zulfiqar, a Shiite militia fighting in the Damascus area Jihadology — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gazkthul (talkcontribs) 22:15, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Al-Arabiya is the mouthpiece of Saudi Arabia i.e. not a reliable source. Anyway the abovementioned report is attributed to an anonymous facebook page.
Greek Neo-Nazi claim is only found in an alleged interview with an anonymous Greek blogger.
Presence of Russian mercenaries is more reliable, but it would be useful to have confirmation from reputable 3rd party sources.--Kathovo talk 16:50, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
The Fontanka article on the Slavonic Corps is pretty in-depth and conclusive, I'm not sure what more you'd need. ~~ Lothar von Richthofen (talk) 03:05, 13 January 2014 (UTC)


I did these changes

Tajamu Fastakam , Islamic Al Nour Movement and Liwa al-Ansar 3bdulelah (talk) 17:07, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

New coalition (Muhajireen and Ansar coalition)[edit]

Liwaa al-Umma and 3 other armed rebel groups (Liwaa al-Haq, Liwaa Omar and Jund al-Aqsa) declared their coalition. Muhajireen and Ansar coalition. 3bdulelah (talk) 21:56, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

I think we should wait until there are reports put out by news organizations.David O. Johnson (talk) 00:30, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Have added them to the list of rebel groups with citations Gazkthul (talk) 06:17, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Syriac Union Party Edit War[edit]

Syriac Union Party and European Syriac Union (sister branch) are united Assyrianist parties. They call for shared unity and identity of all Syriac speaking people. If you check out their web-pages you will realize they do not post any of the two flags neither nor . In their demonstrations their members fly both flags in unity.

When certain members of wikipedia who do not know any of the political history of these groups and the history of the flags they are using, they just create further confusion. I would like to see neutral and more accurate icons used beside the Syriac groups involved. Remove flags that the party itself does not use and use the flag (SUP flag) that the party does use! Same thing with MFS and Sutoro ... they have not been seen with neither of the two flags (trying to avoid the politics behind them).

I propose we change the icons back to their original and neutral symbols like we see below:

These images are copyright violations, and unfortunately can't be used unless a non-copyrighted version is created such as this one for Hezbollah - DylanLacey (talk) 08:59, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
They are not copyright violations, just that the files are non-free and cannot be used in this manner, I have also removed them from this page due to WP:NFCC#9 Werieth (talk) 11:36, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Then we should not have the Syriac-Aramaean flag up because again ... you are assuming that the groups uses that flag (which is officially doesn't). They try to avoid the flag politics which goes on in the Assyrian community. If you use one flag you should use the other right beside it: (as they use in their protests/demonstrations). I think that looks silly and redundant, so then for neutrality sake I think we shouldn't use any flag that the groups don't use themselves!

Iraqi involvement[edit]

Should Iraq be included as an indirect military supporter of Syria? They have given Assad financial support, opened their airspace for Iranian Revolutionary Guard supplies and provided diesel fuel.

This Article Needs To Be Reorganized[edit]

I see a lot of mistakes such as making jund Al-Aqsa in the same side with ISIS. They declared their neutrality!
This article may help us to reorganize this page.

3bdulelah (talk) 21:25, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

I've updated that info & a little bit more. I'll keep working on it. Do we need every group listed in the "Syrian Interim Government and allies" subsection of the "Generic list" section? It seems excessive to have all those groups included. David O. Johnson (talk) 19:01, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes we need all of them as this is the detailed page while this one is the short one. we can remove the subgroups like Jaysh al-Islam, Ahrar ash-Sham, Al-Tawhid Brigade, Suqour al-Sham Brigade and Liwaa al-Umma. Also some groups have no real presence in Syria like TTP as their fighters fight alongside other groups like ISIS or Nusra. same with Abdullah Azzam Brigades, Jund al-Sham, Fatah al-Islam, Ansar al-Islam, Muslim Brotherhood of Syria and Hizb ut-Tahrir. Some groups are no longer active like Free Iraqi Army and Ghuraba al-Sham.

3bdulelah (talk) 18:24, 28 March 2014 (UTC)