Northern Division (Syrian rebel group)
This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (July 2016)
الفرقة الشماليةParticipant in the Syrian Civil War
Logo of the Northern Division
Flag of the Knights of Justice Brigade
|Area of operations|
|Battles and war(s)||Syrian Civil War|
The Northern Division (Arabic: الفرقة الشمالية), formerly the Knights of Justice Brigade (Arabic: لواء فرسان الحق, Liwa Fursan al-Haqq), is a Free Syrian Army group sanctioned by the Syrian National Council and formerly part of the Syrian Revolutionary Command Council. The group received BGM-71 TOW missiles from the United States and Saudi Arabia, and is also armed, trained, and funded by Qatar.
The Knights of Justice Battalion was formed on 25 February 2012 by a defected Syrian Army first lieutenant Mohammed Khaled Bayoush in the town of Kafr Nabl in the Idlib Governorate. In September 2012 the group changed its name to the Knights of Justice Brigade after absorbing several smaller rebel groups. Former Syrian Air Force lieutenant colonel Fares Bayoush became its overall commander.
The brigade joined a "quick response unit" of 600 fighters alongside other moderate and jihadist groups on 8 July 2014 to fight the Syrian Army and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Aleppo. It suspended its cooperation with al-Nusra Front on 21 July 2014. On 7 September 2014, the Knights of Justice Brigade announced that they were allying their forces with four other rebel groups, including the 101st Division and the 13th Division, into the 5th Corps.
In March 2015, the "Famous Brigade" which consisted of 170 fighters joined the Knights of Justice Brigade.
In September 2015 the 117 recruits from the group graduated after 3 months of training.
In December 2015 the Knights of Justice Brigade and the 101st Infantry Division formed the Northern Division. However, the 101st Division later left the group in June 2016, making the Knights of Justice Brigade the only component of the group.
In June 2016, Mohammed Khaled Bayoush survived an assassination attempt by car bomb near Kafr Nabl. He later became the deputy commander in the Free Idlib Army which the Northern Division is part of, and survived another assassination attempt near Kafr Nabl.
31 January 2017, Lt. Col. Fares Bayoush resigned from his positions in the Northern Division and the Free Idlib Army, citing "Black Standards" in Idlib. Bayoush claims that 12,000 rebel fighters have recently sought refuge in Turkey.
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