|Participant in Syrian Civil War|
|Group(s)||Lions of al-Quds Battalion|
Lions of al-Shahba' Battalion
Aleppo Defenders Corps
|Leaders||Muhammad al-Sa'eed (a.k.a. "The Engineer")|
Col. Mohammad Rafi †
|Size||c. 1,000 (pro-opposition claim, 2016)|
|Allies|| Syrian Armed Forces|
Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq
|Opponent(s)|| Free Syrian Army|
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
|Battles and war(s)|
Liwa al-Quds (Arabic: لواء القدس) or the Jerusalem Brigade is a predominantly Palestinian militia (brigade) that operates as a part of pro-Syrian government forces in Syrian Civil War. It was formed in 2013 by the engineer Muhammad al-Sa'eed. The fighters who call themselves the 'Syrian Arab Army Fedayeen' are distributed on the periphery of the camp and south of al-Nayrab military and civil airport. They are also present in Aziza village, Sheikh Latfi, and around the Air Intelligence building and the Greatest Messenger mosque. By the beginning of 2015, the group had suffered 200 killed and over 400 wounded since its establishment. The group is composed of predominantly Sunni Palestinians from the al-Nayrab district as well as the former refugee camp Handarat. Liwa al-Quds is believed to be the largest loyalist auxiliary force operating in Aleppo.
The group supported the Syrian Army in its effort to reopen the main supply line to Aleppo in 2015.
By mid-2016, it had become one of the most important pro-government militias in Aleppo Governorate. On 20 June 2016, the militia took part in a prisoner exchange with three rebel factions, namely the Sultan Murad Division, the Muntasir Billah Brigade, and the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, in coordination with Ahrar al-Sham.
In May 2018 Liwa al-Quds was fighting with ISIS pocket in the desert of Deir ez-Zor as a part of joint operation of Liwa al-Quds, NDF and SAA forces. Liwa al-Quds captured village of Faydat Umm Muwaynah.
In July 2018, Samer Rafe, a prominent commander of the militia, was arrested in Latakia after a firefight with government forces. He had previously been arrested on charges of robbery in Aleppo, confessed to the charges, and served a prison term of one year before being released.
The brigade has both Syrian Palestinian as well as native Syrian members, and is composed of three main battalions, which are: Lions of al-Quds Battalion, which operates in al-Nayrab camp and its surrounding as well as in southern and eastern countryside; the Deterrence Battalion, which operates in the north Aleppo countryside south of the villages of Nubl and Al-Zahraa; and the Lions of al-Shahba' Battalion, which operates on the fighting fronts inside Aleppo city.
By 2018, the group had started recruiting former Syrian rebels that agreed to join pro-government military units as part of reconciliation deals with the Syrian government. More than 150 former Free Syrian Army fighters had joined Liwa al-Quds by 2019. They received military training and supervision from Russian officers during the first quarter of 2019 and were sent to fight on the side of the Syrian Government in the Northwestern Syria offensive that began later that year.
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