Alwiya al-Furqan

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Criterion Brigades
Alwiya al-Furqan
Participant in the Syrian Civil War
Alwiya al-Furqan Logo.png
Logo of Alwiya al-Furqan
LeadersMuhammad Majid al-Khatib[1]
Area of operationsQuneitra Governorate (formerly)
Damascus Governorate (formerly)
Daraa Governorate (formerly)[1]
Idlib Governorate[2]
Aleppo Governorate
Part of Free Syrian Army Fatah Halab (formerly)[3]
Allies Jordan[4]
Free Syrian Army
Southern Front
Tahrir al-Sham
Ahrar al-Sham
Jaysh al-Islam
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (2013)
Opponent(s) Syria
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Battles and war(s)Syrian Civil War

Alwiya al-Furqan (Arabic: ألوية الفرقان‎, Criterion Brigades) is an independent Islamist rebel group involved in the Syrian Civil War. It claimed to be the largest Islamist rebel faction that operated in the eastern Quneitra Governorate and Damascus.[7][1] The group also held ties to Jordan which allowed fighters from the group to cross into the country to receive medical aid. During a sermon the group's leader stated that the Syrian opposition was building a Caliphate in Syria, that the rebels should emulate the Prophet Muhammad and his companions in doing so.


In May 2013, after the split between the al-Nusra Front and Islamic State of Iraq after the latter's deceleration of a merger between the two and establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the group released a statement critical of al-Nusra's leader Abu Mohammad al-Joulani for his pledge of allegiance to al-Qaeda in light of the dispute.[8]

In 2013, after a government chemical weapons attack in Eastern Ghouta, ISIL and al-Nusra conducted separate revenge attacks, Alwiya al-Furqa, Ahrar al-Sham and the Jesus Son of Mary Battalions joined the ISIL-led attacks which were code named "Volcano of Rage", and shelled Alawite neighborhoods in Damascus, areas near the Embassy of Russia in Damascus and the Four Seasons Hotel Damascus, where UN observers were reportedly staying to investigate the chemical attack.[9]

In September 2013, the group joined a joint operations room with Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam.

In 2017 the group released a statement saying the group would end its cease-fire with the Syrian government in Damascus if Hezbollah or IRGC affiliated groups entered the area.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Muhammad Majid al-Khatib: A Rising Leader in the Free Syrian Army". Jamestown Foundation. 28 February 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-08-26. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Assad Regime Loses Idlib to Jabhat al-Nusra and Rebel Offensive". Institute for the Study of War. 31 March 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Infographic: "Fatah Halab" Military Operations Room – Coalition of 31 Rebel factions". Archicivilians. 18 June 2015. Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Booby-trapped targeted the rebels before (IS) controls over the town of Sheikh Saad , Daraa". 30 March 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  6. ^ Ellen Francis U.S.-Russian ceasefire deal holding in southwest Syria, Reuters 9 July 2017
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