Retribution Army

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Retribution Army
جيش القصاص
Jayš al-Qiṣāṣ
Participant in Syrian Civil War
Logo of the Al-Qassas Army.jpg
Active? – mid-2015 (defunct?)
LeadersAbu Ali[1]
Area of operationsAleppo Governorate,[2] Raqqa Governorate, and Deir ez-Zor Governorate[3]
Size~500 (claimed)[1]
Part ofEuphrates Volcano (until June 2015)[4]
Free Syrian Army[5]
Opponent(s)Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Syrian Armed Forces[3]
Battles and war(s)Syrian Civil War

The Retribution Army (Arabic: جيش القصاص‎; Jayš al-Qaṣaṣ)[3] was a Free Syrian Army (FSA)-affiliated group formed by Deir ez-Zor natives that fought in the Syrian Civil War against the government and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).


The Retribution Army was originally founded in Deir ez-Zor[2] by Sunni Arabs[4] and took part in the three-way battle for the city between loosely allied rebel factions, the Syrian Armed Forces, and ISIL.[3] When the FSA units in Deir ez-Zor were overrun by ISIL in mid-2014, surviving remnants of the Retribution Army retreated north into areas held by the People's Protection Units (YPG). Eventually relocating to Kobanî Canton,[2] the Retribution Army became a founding member of the Euphrates Volcano operations room in September 2014.[5]

The group then took part in the defence of the town of Kobanî against the siege by ISIL,[2] and continued to fight with the YPG and its allies until mid-2015. At the time led by Abu Ali, a former primary schoolteacher, they took part in the Tell Abyad offensive. After Tell Abyad was captured, however, disputes erupted between the Retribution Army and the YPG. Abu Ali later claimed that his men had hoisted the Syrian Independence flag over the city per a previous agreement, but it was taken down and replaced by the YPG banner. Feeling insulted, the Retribution Army then left Euphrates Volcano and went to Turkey. There, Abu Ali said in an interview that the Syrian Kurds are "like the devil", though admitted that many other FSA units remained allied to the YPG.[1]

Though Abu Ali claimed that the Retribution Army would continue to fight in Syria at another front after "some much-needed rest",[1] the unit has not resurfaced since.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e David Kenner (23 June 2015). "Can't We All Just Get Along and March on Raqqa?". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Factions of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab)". Syria Comment. 21 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e Hannah Lucinda Smith (17 June 2014). "ISIS, Syrian government continue siege of Deir Ezzor". Asharq Al-Awsat. Archived from the original on 28 April 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Syrian Kurdish leader hails 'Euphrates Volcano' fight against IS". Middle East Eye. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  5. ^ a b "YPG and FSA form a joint military chamber to combat ISIS in Syria". ARA News. 12 September 2014. Archived from the original on 14 October 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.