Ghuraba al-Sham

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Ghuraba al-Sham
غرباء الشام
Participant in Iraq War, 2007 Lebanon conflict and Syrian Civil War
IdeologySunni Jihadism[1]
LeadersMahmud al-Aghasi (2003–2007)[2]
Area of operationsSyria
AlliesAl-Nusra Front[4]
Ahrar ash-Sham
Ahrar al-Jazeera[7]
Opponent(s)Syrian Armed Forces
People's Protection Units[8]
Battles and war(s)Syrian Civil War

Ghuraba al-Sham (Arabic: غرباء الشامGhurabā’ ash-Shām, "Strangers/Foreigners of the region of Syria") was a group of jihadists of Turkish and former Eastern bloc origin[1] who smuggled foreign fighters to Iraq, intervened in Lebanon during the 2007 Lebanon conflict,[6] and fought in Syria during the Syrian Civil War.[1] The group coordinated with Al-Nusra Front in clashes with the People's Protection Units in November 2012[8] and in January 2013.[9] The group apparently shut down or disappeared in 2014.


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.[6] 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.[6] Abu al-Qaqa was killed in Aleppo by a former prisoner who was held by Americans during the Iraq War[2] on 28 September 2007.[6] Members of the group were recruited in Syria and sent to Iraq to fight during the Iraq War.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Jihadists eclipsing other rebels in Syria's Aleppo". Daily News Egypt. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Radical Syrian cleric 'shot dead'". BBC. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Syria's Islamic Movement and the Current Uprising: Political Acquiescence, Quietism, and Dissent". Jadaliyya. 21 February 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b AFP (18 January 2013). "Raging clashes pit Syrian Kurds against jihadists". NOW. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  5. ^ As-Safir (14 November 2012). "Kurds Caught in Crossfire In Northwest Syria Battle". Al Monitor. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e McGregor, Andrew (October 2007). "Controversial Syrian Preacher Abu al-Qaqa Gunned Down in Aleppo". Terrorism Focus. 4 (33). Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  7. ^ a b Carl Drott (15 May 2014). "Arab Tribes Split Between Kurds And Jihadists". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Jihadist rebels in standoff with Syria Kurds: NGO". Al Arabiya. AFP/Reuters. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  9. ^ AFP/Reuters (18 January 2013). "Heavy casualties as huge blast hit Aleppo". Reuters and AFP. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.

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