Participant in Iraq War, 2007 Lebanon conflict and Syrian Civil War
|Leaders||Mahmud al-Aghasi (2003–2007)|
|Area of operations||Syria
Syrian intelligence (formerly)
|Opponents||Syrian Armed Forces
People's Protection Units
|Battles and wars|
Ghuraba al-Sham (Arabic: غرباء الشام Ghurabā’ ash-Shām, "Strangers/Foreigners of the region of Syria") is a group made up of jihadists of Turkish and former Eastern bloc origin, who have participated in the smuggling of foreign fighters to Iraq, intervened in Lebanon during the 2007 Lebanon conflict,and fought in Syria during the Syrian Civil War. The group coordinated with the Al-Nusra Front in clashes with the People's Protection Units in November 2012 and in January 2013.
The group was founded by Aleppo preacher Mahmud al-Aghasi, who was also known as Abu al-Qaqa. He was often accused by Syrian opposition parties of working for the Mukhabarat and during the 2007 Lebanon conflict he was known as the Godfather of Fatah al-Islam. The group was widely believed by many Lebanese people to be smuggling fighters to Iraq during the Iraq War and later to the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp to help Fatah al-Islam under the alleged auspice of the Syrian government. Abu al-Qaqa was killed in Aleppo by a former prisoner who was held by Americans during the Iraq War on 28 September 2007. Members of the group were recruited in Syria and sent to Iraq to fight during the Iraq War.
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- "Syria's Islamic Movement and the Current Uprising: Political Acquiescence, Quietism, and Dissent". Jadaliyya. 21 February 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- AFP (18 January 2013). "Raging clashes pit Syrian Kurds against jihadists". NOW. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
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- McGregor, Andrew (October 2007). "Controversial Syrian Preacher Abu al-Qaqa Gunned Down in Aleppo". Terrorism Focus 4 (33). Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- Carl Drott (15 May 2014). "Arab Tribes Split Between Kurds And Jihadists". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "Jihadist rebels in standoff with Syria Kurds: NGO". Al Arabiya. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- AFP/Reuters (18 January 2013). "Heavy casualties as huge blast hit Aleppo". Reuters and AFP. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
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