Elite Army (Syrian rebel group)
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جيش النخبةParticipant in the Syrian Civil War
Former logo of the Liberation Army
|Active||24 February 2016 – present|
|Area of operations||
|Size||3,000 (self-claim, 2017)|
|Originated as||Liberation Army (Jaysh al-Tahrir)|
|Battles and wars|
The Elite Army (Arabic: جيش النخبة: Jaysh al-Nukhba), formerly called the Liberation Army (Arabic: جيش التحرير: Jaysh al-Tahrir), is a Free Syrian Army group operating in the Hama and Aleppo Governorates. The group was formed from 5 units, some of which have received BGM-71 TOW missiles from the United States.
In July 2016 the al-Nusra Front raided the Liberation Army's headquarters in Kafr Nabl and captured 40 fighters, including the group's commander, Mohammed al-Ghabi. They also seized a number of weapons.
The group participated in the Turkish military intervention in Syria which began with the capture of Jarabulus. Liberation Army fighters captured the village of Amarnah from the Syrian Democratic Forces and took more than 8 SDF fighters captive. Since October 2016, the Liberation Army operates a prisoner-of-war camp in the northern Aleppo Governorate, which holds around 300 prisoners of war from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, implementing Sharia and capital punishment. On 15 October, Mohammed al-Ghabi was severely injured by an ISIL car bombs and died 20 days later. A new commander was named on 10 November.
On 7 January 2017, the Liberation Army announced that it has changed its name to the Elite Army and a new commander was appointed.
After internal disputes within the group in early 2017, the 46th, 312th, and 314th Divisions left the Elite Army and formed a new group called the 2nd Army.
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- "THE MODERATE REBELS: A GROWING LIST OF VETTED GROUPS FIELDING BGM-71 TOW ANTI-TANK GUIDED MISSILES". Hasan Mustafas. 5 October 2015.
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- "Syrian rebels Jaysh al-Tahrir holds Isis fighters in secret prison 'internment' camp". IB Times. 13 October 2016.
- Ahmad Zakariyah (23 June 2017). "Commander Of The FSA's Jaish Al-Thani : Our Objective Is To Form A Unified National Army To Ensure Safety In All Syrian Territory". Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office.
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