Northern Division (Syrian rebel group)

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Northern Division
الفرقة الشمالية
Participant in the Syrian Civil War
Flag of the Northern Division (Syrian rebel group).jpg
Logo of the Northern Division
Flag of the Knights of Justice Brigade.svg
Flag of the Knights of Justice Brigade
Active
  • 25 February 2012—present (Knights of Justice Brigade)[1]
  • December 2015—present (Northern Division)[2]
Group(s)
Leaders
HeadquartersKafr Nabl
Area of operations
Size
  • 1,400 total, 300 active combatants (2013)[5]
  • 1,200 (2015)[6]
Part of
Allies
Opponent(s)
Battles and war(s)Syrian Civil War
Originated as
Knights of Justice Battalion

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.[10] The group received BGM-71 TOW missiles from the United States and Saudi Arabia, and is also armed, trained, and funded by Qatar.[6][11]

History[edit]

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.[1]

In June 2013, the group was one of the founding members of the 13th Division, but later left the group.[12]

The group received funding, including salaries for its fighters, from the CIA, before being cut off in December 2014 following battlefield reversals at the hands of the al-Nusra Front.[13]

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.[14] It suspended its cooperation with al-Nusra Front on 21 July 2014.[15] 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[16] and the 13th Division,[11] into the 5th Corps.[16]

In March 2015, the "Famous Brigade" which consisted of 170 fighters joined the Knights of Justice Brigade.[17]

In mid-2015 the group renewed cooperation with the al-Nusra Front as part of the Army of Conquest during the northwestern Syria offensive (April–June 2015).[1]

In September 2015 the 117 recruits from the group graduated after 3 months of training.[18]

In December 2015 the Knights of Justice Brigade and the 101st Infantry Division formed the Northern Division.[2] However, the 101st Division later left the group in June 2016, making the Knights of Justice Brigade the only component of the group.[19]

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.[4]

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.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "LIWA FURSAN'S MODERATE SYRIAN FIELD COMMANDER LT. COLONEL FARES AL-BAYOUSH". Jamestown. 29 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b @arabthomness (8 December 2015). "#Syria: Liwa Fursan al-Haqq and the 101st Infantry Division announce a merger to for Furqat al-Shamaliah (#FSA)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ a b "The resignation of a leader of the "army Idlib free" to face the "black banners of cross-border"". Al-Hayat. 2 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Najat leader of the free Idlib Jaish Albyosh an assassination attempt Brive Idlib". Al-Etihad Press. 23 November 2016.
  5. ^ "The Worries of a Syrian Rebel Commander". The New Yorker. 19 December 2013.
  6. ^ a b "THE MODERATE REBELS: A GROWING LIST OF VETTED GROUPS FIELDING BGM-71 TOW ANTI-TANK GUIDED MISSILES". Hasan Mustafas. 8 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Oppositions agree on 'big Aleppo operation'". Yeni Şafak. 3 April 2016.
  8. ^ "In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA". Los Angeles Times. 27 March 2016.
  9. ^ Vaux, Michael Weiss|Pierre (5 February 2016). "Are U.S. Missiles Taking Out Russian Military Officials?". The Daily Beast.
  10. ^ "EXCLUSIVE – 18 Syrian revolutionary factions advancing toward a One Army project". The Arab Chronicle. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  11. ^ a b http://i.aksalser.com/news_pics/2014/09/07/968711577.jpg. Retrieved 18 September 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "18 6 Ugarit statement the formation of the band 13 in Idlib province". Ugarit News. 18 June 2013.
  13. ^ "Rebels in northern Syria say U.S. has stopped paying them". McClatchy Newspapers. 9 December 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2015. "In November we received all kinds of support including salaries. This month support stopped completely," said Col. Fares Bayyoush, leader of the Fursan al Haqq Brigade in Kafr Nabel, a town about 20 miles south of the city of Idlib.
  14. ^ "Syrian Military Preparing to Launch Offensive in Aleppo". Institute for the Study of War. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Hazm Movement and Syrian Revolutionary Front: Suspending All Forms of Cooperation with Nusra". Democratic Revolution, Syrian Style. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Merger of Five Rebel Factions into the Fifth Corps". National Coalition of Syrian and Revolutionary Forces. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  17. ^ "Join the faction's "famous Brigades" to "the banner of the Knights of the right" in Idlib". SMART News Agency. 26 March 2015.
  18. ^ "FSA's Fursan al-Haq Brigade Completes Training of Second Batch of Fighters". Etilaf. 30 September 2015.
  19. ^ "The 101st Infantry statement on separation from Knights of Justice". Youtube. 10 June 2016.

External links[edit]