Ansar al-Sham

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Supporters of the Levant Brigade[1]
Ansar al-Sham
Participant in the Syrian civil war
Ansar al-Sham Logo
Ansar al-Sham Logo
Active September 2012[2] – 7 February 2017
Ideology Islamism[3]
Leaders Abu Omar al-Jamil
(overall leader)
Abu Musa al-Shishani
(Military Commander)[2]
Headquarters Jabal al Akrad, Latakia[4]
Area of operations Latakia Governorate[5]
Idlib Governorate[1]
Strength 2,500[4] (March 2014)
Part of Jaysh al-Islam (2016–17)
Became Tahrir al-Sham (2017)[6]
Battles and wars

Syrian Civil War

Ansar al-Sham (Arabic: كتائب أنصار الشام‎‎, Supporters of the Levant) was an armed insurgent organisation that has been active during the Syrian civil war.[3]

Founded in September 2012 by a Latakian veteran of the Afghan Jihad known as Abu Omar,[4] Ansar al-Sham brought together a wide range of mostly Syrian fighters in North Latakia Governorate on a general Islamist platform. The group's military leader is a Chechen known as Abu Musa al-Shishani, and it maintained good relations with a wide variety of other opposition groups in the area, from the Free Syria Army to Al-Nusra Front.[4] In December 2012, Ansar al-Sham joined with other insurgent groups to found the Syrian Islamic Front umbrella organisation,[10] in November 2013 the SIF was dissolved and Liwa al-Haqq, Ansar al-Sham and Ahrar ash-Sham joined the broader Islamic Front alliance.[3]

It played a lead role in the 2014 Latakia offensive against the Syrian Government.[2]

On 15 December 2016, the group declared that it decided to completely merge under Jaysh al-Islam's Idlib branch.[11] On 25 January 2017, Jaysh al-Islam's Idlib branch joined Ahrar al-Sham, thus Ansar al-Sham also joined.[12]

On 7 February 2017, Ansar al-Sham joined Tahrir al-Sham.[13][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sinjab, Lina (17 October 2013). "Syria crisis: Guide to armed and political opposition". BBC. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Rebels Reopen the Latakia Front". Institute for the Study of War. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "A Power Move by Syria's Rebel Forces". Institute for the Study of War. 22 November 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "The Ansar al-Sham Battalions". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Aaron Y. Zelin (4 February 2013). "The Syrian Islamic Front: A New Extremist Force". The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ "Freedom, Human Rights, Rule of Law: The Goals and Guiding Principles of the Islamic Front and Its Allies". Democratic Revolution, Syrian Style. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "Regime Regains Ground on the Coast". Institute for the Study of War. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Syrie: combats féroces autour d'un point de passage avec la Turquie". AFP. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "The Syrian Islamic Front: A New Extremist Force". Washington Institute for Near East Policy. 19 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "استجابة للمطالب الشعبية.. "أنصار الشام" تندمج بـ"جيش الإسلام" - شبكة بلدي الإعلامية". 
  12. ^ "هادي العبدالله Hadi on Twitter". 
  13. ^ "New statement from Hayy’at Taḥrīr al-Shām: "Katā’ib Anṣār al-Shām Joins Hayy’at Taḥrīr al-Shām"". Jihadology. February 7, 2017. 

External links[edit]