Northern Storm Brigade
|Northern Storm Brigade|
لواء عاصفة الشمالParticipant in the Syrian Civil War
Liwa Asifat al-Shamal
The logo used by the group
|Active||2011 – present|
|Area of operations||Aleppo Governorate|
500 (January 2015)
|Battles and war(s)||Syrian Civil War|
The Northern Storm Brigade (Arabic: لواء عاصفة الشمال, Liwā’ ’Āṣifat ash-Shamāl) is a Syrian rebel group formed in 2011 and based in Azaz in northwestern Syria, near the border with Turkey. Its leader and other members of the group were smugglers from the city and its surrounding before the Syrian Civil War. The group retained exclusive control of the Bab al-Salam border crossing.
Founded in 2011, the Northern Storm Brigade took part in the rebel conquest of Azaz and the Siege of Menagh Air Base. It accepted the Supreme Military Council's authority in late 2012. The group's former leader Ammar Ibrahim Dadikhi was severely wounded in the middle of January 2013, during the siege of Menagh Air Base, which resulted in him losing one of his legs and eventually his life. He was succeeded by the group's former political leader, Samir Amouri. Two senior commanders (Hadi Salo and Samir Akkash) were also killed in this period, while other members of the group defected to Islamic rebel formations.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacked the city of Azaz in September 2013 and pushed the brigade out. Samir Amouri reportedly fled to Turkey and was replaced by the current leader, Mahmoud Naddom. Under his rule, the group began to develop relationships and begin coordinating with other rebels. During this period they were based in the Turkish city of Kilis.
As of early 2015 Northern Storm had around 500 fighters, including several Kurds. The group's headquarters were located at a military base to the north of Azaz. It lacked heavy weaponry and vehicles, which had led to criticism of the group's abilities as a fighting force.
The Northern Storm Brigade has been accused of kidnapping and smuggling, and was responsible for the kidnapping of eleven Lebanese men in 2012. Nine of them were released on 19 October 2013.
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