Fastaqim Union

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Fastaqim Kama Umirt Union
تجمع فاستقم كما أمرت
Union of Be Upright as Ordered
Participant in the Syrian Civil War
Fastaqim Kama Umirt.jpg
Active
  • December 2012 – November 2016[1]
    (main faction)
  • November 2016 – present
    (various remnant groups)[2][3]
Groups
  • Aleppo City Battalion
  • Aleppo of Shahbaa Brigade
  • Islam Brigade[4]
  • Peace Brigade[5]
Leaders
  • Mustafa Berro[5]
    (nom de guerre: Saqr Abu Quteiba; overall leader)[1]
  • Ammar Sakkar (POW)[6]
    (spokesman)
  • Abu Hasanayn (POW)
    (military commander)[7]
  • Abu Abdo al-Zir
    (military commander)[3]
  • Lord Fourati
    (office director)[7]
Area of operations
Part of

Army of Mujahideen (formerly)
Syrian Revolutionary Command Council[5]
Levant Front(former)[8][9]

Fatah Halab[10]
Hawar Kilis Operations Room[11]
Ahrar al-Sham (most members, since January 2017)[2]
Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army
Opponents
Battles and wars

Syrian Civil War

The Fastaqim Kama Umirt Union (Arabic: تجمع فاستقم كما أمرت‎, translit. Tajammu Fastaqim Kama Umirt, lit. 'Union of Be Upright as Ordered') is a rebel group active during the Syrian Civil War.[4]

History[edit]

Mortar teams of the Fastaqim Union in 2015.

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.[13] By early 2014, it controlled territory in Aleppo city and the Aleppo countryside.[13]

In January 2014, it joined the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement and other rebel factions in the Aleppo-based Army of Mujahideen coalition.[13] 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.[13][14]

On 26 April 2015, along with other major Aleppo based groups, they established the Fatah Halab joint operations room.[10][15]

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.[16] 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.[17] At least 18 rebels were killed in the infighting.[18]

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.[1] 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.[2]

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".[2]

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.[7] Ammar Sakkar, the group's former spokesperson, was also arrested by Ahrar al-Sham.[19]

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,[3] and under Hisham Eskif, it took part in the Turkish military operation in Afrin in early 2018.[20][21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Zenki and Abu Amarah control all headquarters of Fastaqim Kama Umirt, the leaders of which go to Ahrar al-Sham". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 3 November 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Tamer Osman (8 February 2017). "Syrian rebel groups see necessity in consolidating ranks". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c "Fastaqim Kama Umirt: We Issued a Decision to Prevent Fighters' Mobility with Weapons Among Civilians". Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office. 8 November 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2018. 
  4. ^ a b "Syria: Army of the Mujahideen Challenges ISIS Gains". Al Akhbar. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c "The Levant Front: Can Aleppo's Rebels Unite?". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 26 December 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Syrian rebels launch Aleppo offensive to break siege". AP. 28 October 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c Wael Adel (12 May 2017). "Ahrar al-Sham attacked the headquarters of the "Fastaqim" gathered in the countryside of Idlib". Arabi 21. 
  8. ^ "Syrian Civil War factions". 
  9. ^ "'Shamiah Front' unites leading Aleppo opposition groups". The Daily Star. 27 December 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "The biggest rebel factions in Aleppo just formed coalition "Operation Conquest of Aleppo". Source is a facebook video uploaded 20 mins ago by the Syrian Revolution 2011 facebook page. : syriancivilwar". reddit. 
  11. ^ "Factions involved in North Aleppo's Opposition/SDF Conflict". Archicivilians. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  12. ^ "Rebel Infighting Erupts in Besieged Eastern Aleppo". SouthFront. 
  13. ^ a b c d Aron Lund The Mujahideen Army of Aleppo, Carnegie Middle East Centre, April 08, 2014
  14. ^ Edward Dark (25 March 2014). "Syria's Islamist rebels force Christian activist to wear veil". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 18 January 2018. 
  15. ^ "Fateh Haleb Coalition Member Organizations List : syriancivilwar". reddit. 
  16. ^ "Fighting between 2 factions in the eastern section of Aleppo kills and injures about 25 fighters from both parties". Syria HR. 2 November 2016. 
  17. ^ "Factions of the opposition clashed in the city of Aleppo, the front maize are trying to resolve conflict". ARA News. 3 November 2016. 
  18. ^ @InsideSourceInt (2 November 2016). "Approximately 18 dead so far in rebel infighting across East Aleppo" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  19. ^ "Ahrar al Sham Movement Arrests and Insults an FSA Commander, Driving him to Start a Hunger Strike". Syrian Network for Human Rights. 13 June 2017. 
  20. ^ Hannah Lucinda Smith (27 January 2018). "Turkish tanks grind US policy into mud of northern Syria". The Times. Retrieved 7 February 2018. 
  21. ^ "Vastqm gathered as ordered to Radio All: The goal of the olive branch to secure Afrin and expel the Kurdish units". Radio al-Kul. 21 January 2018.