Jabhat Ansar al-Islam

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Jabhat Ansar al-Islam
Supporters of Islam Front
جبهة أنصار الإسلام
Participant in the Syrian Civil War
Logo of Jabhat Ansar al-Islam
Logo of Jabhat Ansar al-Islam
Active8 August 2012 – late 2013 (Tajamu Ansar al-Islam)
31 March 2014 – present (Jabhat Ansar al-Islam)
IdeologySunni Islamism[1][2]
Group(s)Jabhat Ansar al-Islam:[3]

Former, Tajamu Ansar al-Islam:

Leaders
  • Abu Muhammad al-Jolani[4]
  • Abu al-Majd al-Jolani (POW)[1]
  • Bashar Abu Shihab (POW)[5]
  • Abu Mu'adh al-Agha (spokesman of Tajamu Ansar al-Islam, 2012–13)[6]
Area of operations
Part of
Originated asTajamu Ansar al-Islam (Gathering of Supporters of Islam, 2012–13)[3]
Allies
Opponent(s)Syrian Armed Forces Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Battles and war(s)Syrian Civil War

The Supporters of Islam Front (Arabic: جبهة أنصار الإسلام‎; Jabhat Ansar al-Islam), originally formed as the Gathering of Supporters of Islam (Arabic: تجمع أنصار الإسلام‎; Tajamu Ansar al-Islam) in August 2012, is an independent Sunni Islamist Syrian rebel group active in the Quneitra and Daraa Governorates.

Jabhat Ansar al-Islam is among dozens of Syrian rebel groups that have in the past been supplied with US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles and Soviet-made 9K32 Strela-2 MANPADS with US approval.[8]

Ideology[edit]

Abu al-Majd al-Jolani, commander of Jabhat Ansar al-Islam, stated during an interview on 14 July 2014 that he wanted to establish an Islamic state based on Sharia, and opposed both democracy and a caliphate similar to one proclaimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[1]

History[edit]

The group was originally formed as Tajamu Ansar al-Islam, or the Gathering of Supporters of Islam, a coalition of several Sunni Islamist groups in Damascus and the Rif Dimashq Governorate, announced on 8 August 2012. The coalition initially consisted of the Habib al-Mustafa Brigade, the Companions Battalions, Brigade of Islam, Criterion Brigade, Hamza ibn Abdul-Muttalib Battalion, Shield of al-Sham Battalions, and the Damascus branch of the Descendants of the Prophet Brigade. The group took part in the rebel capture of the Marj al-Sultan heliport on 25 November 2012 and the Battle of Daraya, part of the Rif Dimashq offensive (November 2012–February 2013).[6]

In late 2013, Tajamu Ansar al-Islam fell apart due to differences and disputes between its component groups.[3]

On 31 March 2014, Jabhat Ansar al-Islam was formed in the Damascus and Quneitra countryside by the Usama ibn Zayd Brigade, Izz ibn 'Abd al-Salam Brigade, and the Battalion of the Chargers. Some time after its formation, the group established a branch in southern Damascus.[3]

On 21 February 2015, the group announced the creation of a branch in the Idlib Governorate in northwestern Syria.[3]

On 6 April 2017, clashes erupted between Jabhat Ansar al-Islam and the Syrian Revolutionaries Front in the northern Quneitra countryside, which resulted in 7 rebels being killed. Government forces shelled the area on the same day, which resulted in a ceasefire between the two rebel groups.[9]

On 30 May 2018, two commanders of Jabhat Ansar al-Islam, Abu al-Majd al-Jolani and Bashar Abu Shihab, were captured by groups affiliated with the Free Syrian Army in the Quneitra countryside while attempting to surrender to the Syrian Army carrying around $300,000.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (6 February 2015). "ISIS and Syria's Southern Front". Middle East Institute.
  2. ^ a b c "The Moderate Rebels: A Complete and Growing List of Vetted Groups". Democratic Revolution, Syrian Style. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Jabhat Ansar al-Islam announces establishment of a sector in Idlib". Al-Souria. 21 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Syria's New Super-Opposition Coalition Unites Moderates, Islamists -- And Leaves US With Limited Allies". International Business Times. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b Joško Barić. "Syrian War Daily – 30th of May 2018".
  6. ^ a b c "A spokesman for the Gathering of Supporters of Islam to Orient: Daraya became the regime's node". Orient News. 1 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Free army factions in the south announce the formation of the "National Front for the Liberation of Syria"". El-Dorar al-Shamia. 22 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Syria war: Rebel group supplied with anti-air missiles". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  9. ^ "Dead and wounded in clashes between two factions revolutionists north of Quneitra". All4Syria. 7 April 2017.

External links[edit]