Elite Army (Syrian rebel group)

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Elite Army
جيش النخبة
Jaysh al-Nukhba
Participant in the Syrian Civil War
Former logo of the Liberation Army
Former logo of the Liberation Army
Active 24 February 2016 – present[1]
  • Levant Front (Hama)
  • 9th Brigade
  • 115th Brigade
  • 14th Division[2] (part of the TFSA and not the NFL)


  • 46th Division
  • 312th Division
  • 314th Division
  • Mohammed al-Ghabi (DOW)[4]
  • Alaa Abdel Hay al-Ahmad[5]
  • Raed al-Elewi[6]
  • Mohammed Ahmed al-Sayed[7] (artillery regiment and overall commander since January 2017)
  • Zakaria al-Ahmad[7] (media office director)
Area of operations

Northwestern Syria

Size 3,000[7] (self-claim, 2017)
Part of
Originated as Liberation Army (Jaysh al-Tahrir)
Battles and wars

Syrian Civil War

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.[9]


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.[4]

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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[5]

On 7 January 2017, the Liberation Army announced that it has changed its name to the Elite Army and a new commander was appointed.[7]

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.[12]

In May 2018, along with 10 other rebel groups in northwestern Syria, the Elite Army formed the National Front for Liberation, which was officially announced on 28 May.[8]


External links[edit]