|Fastaqim Kama Umirt Union|
تجمع فاستقم كما أمرتParticipant in the Syrian Civil War
Union of Be Upright as Ordered
|Area of operations|
Hawar Kilis Operations Room
Ahrar al-Sham (most members, since January 2017)
Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army
|Battles and wars|
The group takes its name from a Quranic verse. It was led by Mustafa Berro ("Saqr Abu Quteiba"), described by one analyst in 2014 as "a young FSA-linked fighter", and formed by a group pro-FSA factions in December 2012. By early 2014, it controlled territory in Aleppo city and the Aleppo countryside.
In January 2014, it joined the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement and other rebel factions in the Aleppo-based Army of Mujahideen coalition. The group and the overall Army of Mujahideen caused controversy in March 2014 when other opposition groups criticised it for stopping Marcell Shehwaro, a Christian anti-government activist in Aleppo, and demanding that she wear a hijab. Shehwaro refused to do so, and was detained and forced by the fighters to sign an agreement pledging to wear a hijab from then on. A Fastaqim and Mujahideen commander released a statement which apologised and claimed that the arrest was a mistake by local commanders. However, he still demanded that Shehwaro wear a hijab.
On 2 November 2016, during the Aleppo offensive, Fastaqim Union fighters captured a military commander of the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement. In response, al-Zenki fighters attacked the Fastaqim Union's headquarters in the Salaheddine District and al-Ansari district of Aleppo. At least one rebel were killed and more than 25 wounded on both sides in the raid. The next day, the Levant Front and the Abu Amara Brigades began to patrol the streets to arrest any rebels taking part in the clashes. At least 18 rebels were killed in the infighting.
The group was mostly dissolved when the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement and the Abu Amara Brigades eventually captured all positions of the Fastaqim Union in eastern Aleppo in November 2016. Dozens of rebels from the latter group surrendered and were either captured, joined Abu Amara Brigades's parent group Ahrar al-Sham, or deserted. Some remnants of the Union remained active, but they were considered very weak. As the rebel-held parts of Aleppo were finally conquered by the Syrian Army in December 2016, the loyalist remnants of the Fastaqim Union were among the rebels that were evacuated from Aleppo to Idlib Governorate.
On 25 January 2017, the remaining members of the union's Aleppo branch joined Ahrar al-Sham. Former Fastaqim Union spokesman Ammar Sakkar explained that this move had become "a necessity", as the rebel factions had to unite in face of recent government gains, most notably the fall of rebel-held Aleppo. According to him "division has become illogical and would neither build a state nor establish a system of governance, which is an objective of the Syrian revolution".
Despite the January 2017 merger of the remaining members of Fastaqim Union with Ahrar al-Sham, some members of the group remained independent. Lord Fourati, the former office director of the Fastaqim Union, called his group pledging allegiance to Ahrar al-Sham "shameful and illogical". On 11 May 2017, a former military commander of Fastaqim Union, Abu Hasanayn, was requested to a meeting in Idlib after coming from al-Bab. Once in Idlib, he was arrested by Ahrar al-Sham. The latter then demanded the remaining holdouts of the Fastaqim Union to surrender their weapons, leading to a clash. Less than an hour later, the Fastaqim headquarter was captured by Ahrar al-Sham. The incident was described as the "final nail in the coffin" for the group. Ammar Sakkar, the group's former spokesperson, was also arrested by Ahrar al-Sham.
Despite this, a Fastaqim Union remnant group under the command of Abu Abdo al-Zir was still active in the northern Aleppo countryside by November 2017, and under Hisham Eskif, it took part in the Turkish military operation in Afrin in early 2018.
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