Guardians of Religion Organization

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Guardians of Religion Organization
Arabic: تنظيم حراس الدين
Tanẓīm Ḥurrās ad-Dīn
Participant in the Syrian Civil War and the Iraqi insurgency (2017–present)
Huras al-Din Logo, 2018.jpg
Logo of the group
Active27 February 2018–present
IdeologySalafist jihadism
Area of operationsIdlib Governorate
Hama Governorate[4][better source needed]
Latakia Governorate, Syria[5]
Part of al-Qaeda[4][better source needed] Rouse the Believers Operation Room[8]
Split from Tahrir al-Sham
Allies Turkistan Islamic Party[9]
Tahrir al-Sham[10]
Ansar al-Tawhid[7]
Ansar al-Islam
Ansar al-Din Front
Jaysh al-Izza[11]
Opponents Syria
 United States
Battles and warsSyrian Civil War

The Guardians of Religion Organization (Arabic: تنظيم حراس الدينTanẓīm Ḥurrās ad-Dīn) is an armed insurgent group affiliated with Al-Qaeda and fighting in the Syrian Civil War. The head of the group, Abu Humam al-Shami, was formerly a member of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham and previously the al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda's branch in Syria between 2013 and 2016.[4][better source needed] Abu Jilibib Tubas and Abu Khadija al-Urduni, members of the Guardians of Religion's shura council, left Jabhat Fateh al-Sham in 2016 due to its reported disassociation from al-Qaeda.[16] Tubas, al-Shami, and Sami al-Oraydi were arrested by HTS in November 2017,[17][18] in an attempt to stave off the formation of another al-Qaeda affiliated group in Syria.[19] Also, in November 2017, Jaysh al-Badia and Jaysh al-Malahim were formed.[9]

Shura council members[edit]


In February 2018, the group stated that it is opposed to the fighting between the Syrian Liberation Front and Tahrir al-Sham.[1][better source needed] Jaysh al-Sahel said that it will fight the SLF if "Muhambal, Bisanqul, and Kafr Shalaya" are attacked.[21][better source needed]

On 26 April 2018, the Guardians of Religion Organization, along with Ansar al-Tawhid, (a Jund al-Aqsa faction) and Jaysh al-Izza, launched an offensive against Syrian Government forces in the northern countryside of the Hama Governorate.[11]

On 12 October 2018, the Russian government's reconciliation center in Syria accused the group of hoarding materials needed to develop chemical weapons for a false flag attack as well as being an ISIL affiliate.[22] Along with Russian officials accusing the group of being an ISIL affiliate Iraqi media has claimed the group is also an ISIL affiliate operating along the Syrian-Iraqi border, however the group's base of operations is in the Idlib governorate of Syria, the group has not claimed any attacks out side of this region nor have any other reports of activity outside of opposition held areas in Northwestern Syria been reported.[13]

On 15 October 2018, the group published a video filmed in Saraqib which showed the group's religious police, the hisbah, driving around the city with loudspeakers calling on people to adhere to sharia.[23]


It is thought by the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center that the formation of the group will weaken HTS.[24] Alexander Sehmer of the Jamestown Foundation has stated that Guardians of the Religion Organization gives Al Qaeda the best opportunity to improve its fortunes in Syria.[25]


  1. ^ a b "Seven Al-Qaeda-Affiliated Groups Form New Force In Northern Syria". South Front. 28 February 2018.
  2. ^ "al-Qa'ida loyalists reacted strongly against the NLF merger, saying it's a implemention of Astana & warns of impending attack on them & HTS shouldn't be trusted to defend them. Related, 2 more small groups (Ansar al-Haqq, Abna al-Sharia) join Hurras al-Din along with some jurists". Twitter. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  3. ^ "You sure about this? The statement say "مجموعة" i.e. group, not "كتائب" (brigades). Also their leader haven't shared anything on this on his social media accounts". Twitter. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e Joško Barić (28 February 2018). "Syrian War Daily – 28th of February 2018". Syrian War Daily.
  5. ^ "Landmine explosion kills and injures Guardians of Religion members in Latakia". SMART News Agency. 16 October 2018. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  6. ^ Tore Refslund Hamming; Pieter Van Ostaeyen (8 April 2018). "The True Story of al-Qaeda's Demise and Resurgence in Syria". Lawfare Blog. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  7. ^ a b Joško Barić (29 April 2018). "Syrian War Daily – 29th of April 2018". Syrian War Daily.
  8. ^ "Military groups calling themselves "the finest factions of the Levant" form joint operations room". Syria Call. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Explainer: Who are the jihadist groups fighting in Syria's Idlib?". BBC Monitoring. 13 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Jihadists vow to start new battle against Syrian Army over Daraa operation". Al-Masdar News. 30 June 2018.
  11. ^ a b "After military operation for it, violent attack by Horas Al-Din and Ansar Al-Tawheed and Jaysh Al-Izza in northern Hama and heavy aerial and ground shelling target the area". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 26 April 2018.
  12. ^ Mais Noor Aldeen (24 September 2018). "Guardians of Religion shells Russian monitoring outpost, Eastern Idlib". SMART News Agency. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  13. ^ a bأخبار-العراق/170445/حذر-من-عودة-داعش-للأنبار-مصدر-قوة-خاصة-عراقية-تطيح
  14. ^قوة-خاصة-عراقية-تقتل-العشرات-من-تنظيم-حراس-الدين
  15. ^عالمـي/2078694-رئيس-الورزاء-العراقى-يأمر-بإرسال-قوات-خاصة-لتأمين-الحدود-مع-سوريا
  16. ^ "How al-Qa`ida Lost Control of its Syrian Affiliate: The Inside Story". Combating Terrorism Center. February 2018.
  17. ^ "Former Al-Qaeda in Syria Branch Arrests Members of Al-Qaeda in Syria". The Syrian Intifada. 28 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Tahrir al-Sham Arrests of Qaeda Leaders Cranks up Zawahiri- Julani Dispute". Asharq Al-Awsat. 30 November 2017.
  19. ^ Mona Alami (6 December 2017). "Syria's Largest Militant Alliance Steps Further Away From al-Qaida". Syria Deeply.
  20. ^ Rita Katz (28 March 2018). "Has al-Qaeda Replanted its Flag in Syria?". InSite Blog on Terrorism and Extremism. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  21. ^ Joško Barić (2 March 2018). "Syrian War Daily – 2nd of March 2018". Syrian War Daily.
  22. ^ "Russia blames western states for terrorists obtaining chemical weapons". Al-Masdar News. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  23. ^ "New video message from Ḥurās al-Dīn: "Part of the Works of the Ḥisbah in Sarāqib"". Jihadology. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  24. ^ "Split among Al-Qaeda's supporters in Syria, in light of severe differences of opinion regarding the nature of the ties with Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri". Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2018. at the same time, its establishment weakens the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham
  25. ^ Alexander Sehmer (10 August 2018). "Briefs". Terrorism Monitor. Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 4 November 2018. The emergence of Hurras al-Din offers al-Qaeda its best chance yet to reinvigorate its support in Syria.

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