|Knights of the Golan|
فرسان الجولانParticipant in the Syrian Civil War
Logo of Fursan al-Joulan
|Leaders||Abu Suhaib al-Joulani|
|Area of operations||Quneitra Governorate|
|Part of|| Free Syrian Army|
Army of the South
|Opponent(s)||Syrian Armed Forces|
|Battles and war(s)||Syrian Civil War|
|Website||Official Facebook page|
Liwaa’ Fursan al-Joulan (Arabic: فرسان الجولان, lit. 'Knights of the Golan') is a Free Syrian Army faction based in Jubata al-Khashab, a Quneitra town in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) zone. It consists of 300-1000 local fighters and led by Abu Suhaib al-Joulani. The group was alleged to receive Israeli assistance of cash, ammunition and other forms of aid. It is described as a "local" rebel group, "non-Islamist" and independent of the Southern Front (the main Free Syrian Army group in the area).
Israel did admit of providing humanitarian aid to Syrians in coordination with the group, including water pumps, medical supplies and cash for fuel. A bakery was built in the group's town with the help of Israel. It allegedly feeds 60k people in rebel-held areas in southwestern Syria.
In August 2017, sources told the pro-government/pro-Hezbollah Al Mayadeen that the group was driven out of its stronghold in Jubata al-Khashab after it was accused of collaborating with the Israeli army.
On 19 July 2018, violent clashes erupted in Qahtaniyah region after the group rejected the deal of evacuation to Idlib of which the opposition reached with the Syrian government. Syrian activists circulated a voice recording which was sent by a Russian officer to the group, in which he threateningly told them: "I warn you if you do not stop shooting at the bulldozer, we will strike at your positions. We agreed with the Israelis. I personally will ride this turquoise and move it. I just spoke with Tel Aviv. I ask you very quickly to stop the shooting". A military source told Al Modon that the group's leader, Abu Suhaib, hopes to reach an agreement with the Russian side, similar to the agreement that was concluded by the former leader of the opposition factions in Beit Jann, Ayad Kamal, nicknamed "Moro", after an Israeli insistence on his survival as a local force that ensures the protection of the borders.
On 21 July 2018, Al Quds Al Arabi reported that after negotiation with Israel, the group and two other militias joined to form the Israeli-led Army of the South on the southern border of Syria in the demilitarized zone in order to ensure the removal of Iranian forces. The army is expected to have around 2,000 members.[verification needed]
On 22 July 2018, it was reported that the group will remain in the region with an understanding between Russia and Israel to act as a border guard force. Haaretz reported that the group coordinated with Israel the evacuation of 800 White Helmets members. In addition, pro-government sources reported that two commanders of the group, Moaz Nassar and Abu Rateb, fled to Israel.
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- Heavy machine gun fire lands on Irish Golan base, Irish Times, 10 July 2017
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- "مصادر للميادين نت: أهالي جباتا الخشب في الجولان يطردون مسلحين لتعاملهم مع إسرائيل". Al Mayadeen. 23 August 2017.
- "المراسل: الاشتباكات بين الإرهابيين تدور حول التسوية وعملية الخروج باتجاه إدلب حيث ترفضها ميليشيا "فرسان الجولان"". Al Watan. 19 July 2018. Archived from the original on 21 July 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
- "مراسل الوطن أون لاين: اتساع دائرة الاشتباكات العنيفة بين المجموعات الإرهابية وامتدادها إلى محيط القحطانية بين ما يسمى ميليشيا " فرسان الجولان " الرافض للتسوية وبقية الفصائل الموافقة عليها". Al Watan. 19 July 2018. Archived from the original on 26 July 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
- "ضابط روسي يوجه رسالة شديدة اللهجة لـ"لواء فرسان الجولان" بالقنيطرة". SMART news agency. 19 July 2018.
- ""فرسان الجولان"المدعومين من إسرائيل باقون في مواقعهم!". Al Modon. 20 July 2018.
- "صحيفة: إسرائيل تحاول تشكيل قوة موالية لها من فصائل الجنوب السوري". sy-24.com. 22 July 2018.
- "توالي خروج حافلات المهجرين من القنيطرة ومسلحون يعترضونها في حمص". Akhbar Libya. 22 July 2018.
- "ישראל מעורבת בסוריה מעבר לסיוע הומניטרי, ואסד יכול להיות בטוח שלא תנסה להפילו". Haaretz. 22 July 2018.
- "Four rebel commanders flee to Israel as Syrian Army takes over Quneitra". Al-Masdar News. 22 July 2018.