Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union

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Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union
الاتحاد الإسلامي لأجناد الشام
Participant in Syrian Civil War
Official logo of Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union
Official logo of Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union
Active 2 December 2013[1] – present
Ideology Islamism[2]
Leaders Faysal al-Shami  [3][better source needed]
Abu Mohammed al-Fateh (former)[4][5]
Area of operations Idlib (since May 2018)
Size 15,000 (2014)[5]
Allies Jaysh al-Islam
Ahrar al-Sham
Opponents Syrian Armed Forces[6]
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Battles and wars

Syrian Civil War

The Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union (Arabic: الاتحاد الإسلامي لأجناد الشام‎, al-ittihad al-islami li-ajnad al-sham, "Islamic Union of the Soldiers of the Levant") is an alliance of Islamist groups that are active in the Syrian Civil War.[2]

History[edit]

In early November 2013, a large number of Islamist rebel groups in the wider Damascus region announced the formation of the “Greater Damascus Operations Room”, excluding Jaysh al-Islam and the most radical jihadis al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[4] Later that month, five of the larger and most locally well-established groups within in the Operations Room - the al-Habib al-Mustafa Brigades, the Amjad al-Islam Gathering, the Sahaba Brigades and Battalions, the Shabab al-Houda Battalions and the Der al-Asima Brigade - declared the creation of the Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union.[4]

On 18 February 2016, its fighters based in eastern Ghouta announced the "full incorporation" of its fighters into al-Rahman Legion, though reiterating that its fighters based in the western Damascus suburbs of Darayya and Moadammiyyeh as well as in southern Damascus would still operate under the Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union banner and were not a part of this merger.[8]

On 26 February 2016, Syrian Army Special Forces killed the second leader of Ajnad al-Sham, Faysal al-Shami ("Abu Malek") after intense clashes in the Darayya Association Quarter.[3]

On 19 March 2017, its Idlib branch merged with Sham Legion.[9] These fighters represented the individuals that left Darayya and Moadammiyyeh between August and October 2016 as part of the evacuation deal to Idlib, thus reducing their presence to two pockets in the Damascus Governorate and Rif Dimashq Governorate areas.

After the completion of the Beit Jinn offensive in January 2018 and the Southern Damascus offensive the following month, Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union presence was further reduced to a single pocket on the Southern Damascus Governorate and it's outskirt.

In May 2018, the remaining members evacuated to Idlib.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pushing Back Against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant: The Path to Conflict". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Damascus Preachers and the Armed Rebellion". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Leith Fadel (26 February 2016). "Top rebel commander killed in Darayya amid Syrian Army advance". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c "The Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Jennifer Cafarella and Genevieve Casagrande, Syrian Armed Opposition Powerbrokers, Middle East Security Report 29, March 2016, Institute for the Study of War
  6. ^ "Army makes first push toward Aleppo in a year". The Daily Star. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Fadel, Leith (21 June 2016). "Islamist offensive in Darayya ends in failure". al-masdar News. Retrieved 25 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Albin Szakola (19 February 2016). "Damascus rebels merge amid Jaysh al-Islam "intimidation"". Retrieved 11 April 2016. 
  9. ^ "فيلق الشام on Twitter".