Syrian Revolutionaries Front

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Syrian Revolutionaries Front
جبهة ثوار سوريا
Participant in the Syrian Civil War
Syria Revolutionaries Front logo.png
Logo of the SRF
Active
  • December 2013–5 May 2015 (main Idlib and Aleppo branch)[1]
  • December 2013–present (southern branch)
Ideology

Non-ideological (overall group)[2]

Leaders
  • Jamal Maarouf (overall leader, northern branch)[1]
  • Col. Afif Sulaiman (Idlib commander, resigned July 2014)[2]
  • Maj. Abu Osama al-Jolani (southern branch)[3]
  • Brig. Gen. Yahya al-Abdi (63rd Southern Division)[4]
  • Capt. Abu Hamza al-Naimi  (southern branch)[5]
Headquarters Quneitra Governorate, Syria
Area of operations Daraa Governorate, Quneitra Governorate, Rif Dimashq Governorate, and Damascus Governorate, Syria[2]
Size
  • 10,000–15,000 (2014)[6]
  • 7,000 (2016)[3]
Part of

Syrian opposition Free Syrian Army

Allies
Opponents
Battles and wars

Syrian Civil War

The Syrian Revolutionaries Front (Arabic: جبهة ثوار سوريا‎, Jabhat Thowar Suriya, SRF, also translated Syrian Rebel Front[1]) is, according to Lebanon's Daily Star, an alliance of 14 relatively moderate Islamist and some secular armed groups fighting under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, formed in December 2013, thus according to Arutz Sheva further sidelining the FSA and its leadership Supreme Military Council.[16] It was established as a response to the merger of Islamist Syrian rebels into the Islamic Front.[16]

History[edit]

Northern branch[edit]

In December 2013, following initial clashes, the Islamic Front and the Syrian Revolutionaries Front agreed to reconcile.[17] The coalition was spearheaded by Jamal Maarouf, head of the Syrian Martyrs' Brigades, largest member group of the SRF based in Jabal Zawiya, Idlib Governorate.[18] The group has supported the Geneva II Middle East peace conference that is aimed at resolving the Syrian civil war.[18] The group received financial support from Saudi Arabia, while the United States has reportedly given the group only non-lethal aid like food, medicine and blankets, in part due to concerns over its involvement in smuggling and extortion.[19]

100 members of the SRF's Wolves of al-Ghab Brigade were killed in clashes with al-Qaeda's al-Nusra Front near Jisr al-Shughur on 16 July 2014.[20]

In late October 2014 clashes erupted again between the SRF and al-Nusra in the Jabal al-Zawiya region of Idlib, over the following days, dozens of SRF fighters defected to Nusra and the group lost control of numerous villages as they withdrew their forces from the region.[21] Maarouf and some of his followers relocated to Turkey, however around half of his men in the region remained behind and accepted the change of control rather than fight.[19]

On 5 May 2015, some of the former members of the Hazzm Movement, the Syria Revolutionaries Front based in the north, Jabhat al-Akrad, the Dawn of Freedom Brigades and smaller FSA groups formed the Army of Revolutionaries.[22][23] Many of their northern members also dissolved into the Levant Front.

During the Turkish military intervention in Syria which started in late August 2016, some members of the Syrian Revolutionaries Front and the Hazm Movement in exile from Turkey crossed into Syria through Jarabulus.[24]

Northern groups (now defunct)[edit]

Southern branch[edit]

The group is currently only active in southern Syria, as a member of a Southern Front group, and previously part of the First Army of the Southern Front. On 2 March 2016, a car bomb explosion targeted the SRF headquarters in Quneitra and killed its commander Captain Abu Hamza al-Naimi and 4 other field commanders.[5] Some time in 2016, the SRF's branch in Jubata al-Khashab split into 3 factions. The local SRF commander in the area also defected to the Golan Regiment.[28]

On 6 April 2017, clashes erupted between the SRF and Jabhat Ansar al-Islam 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.[29]

On 31 July 2017, 5 SRF groups in Daraa and Quneitra merged into the 1st Infantry Division and established a unified command structure for the SRF.[30]

Southern groups[edit]

  • 1st Infantry Division[30]
    • 1st Infantry Gathering
    • Gathering of Righteousness[31]
      • Brigade of Two Holy Mosques
    • Union of the Unity of the Nation
    • Saladin Brigades
    • Tank Brigade
  • 63rd Southern Division[4]
    • Dawn of the Levant Union
    • Abu Dujana Brigades
    • Jafar al-Tayyar Brigade
    • Lions of Mercy Brigade
    • Free Yarmouk Brigade
    • Hazm Brigade
    • Mercy Brigade
    • Southern Martyrs Brigade
    • Martyr Abdul Rahim Samour Brigade
    • Special Tasks Brigade
  • Coming Victory Brigade
  • 7th Division
  • Riyad al-Salehin Battalions of Damascus
  • Special Assignments Regiment of Damascus
  • Helpers Brigades
  • Southern Swords Division[32]
  • Martyr Captain Abu Hamza al-Naimi Union
Former[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "FSA alliance pushes back against Islamic Front". The Daily Star. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Lund, Aron (13 December 2013). "The Syria Revolutionaries' Front". Carnegie Middle East Center. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b David Ignatius (19 March 2016). "As the Syrian cease-fire holds, signs of progress against extremists". The Washington Post. 
  4. ^ a b "Military factions announce the formation of the 63rd Division of Quneitra countryside declaring its objectives". Al-Dorar al-Shamia. 17 August 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Syria Revolutionaries Front Commander Killed in Car Bomb Attack on Quneitra Base". Syria Observer/Enab Baladi. 3 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Al Qaida rebels leave mass grave behind as they desert base in Syria". McClatchy. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  7. ^ Aron Lund (21 March 2014). "Does the "Southern Front" Exist?". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "A new military alliance in the Syrian south,what does it consist of?". Al-Dorar al-Shamia. 16 August 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "Jabhat al-Nusra, IS clash in Daraa". Al Monitor. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Aleppo: Syria's Stalingrad?". National Interest. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "Syria rebels unite and launch new revolt, against jihadists". AFP. 4 January 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "Al Qaeda seizes territory from moderate Syrian group". Reuters. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "New Syria rebel alliance declares war on Al Qaida". AFP. 4 January 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "Reinforcements rush to Aleppo as battles rage". The Daily Star. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  15. ^ "Al-Qaeda defeats Syrian moderate rebels in Idlib". ARA News. 2 November 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "Syria: New Rebel Alliance to Rival Islamists". Arutz Sheva. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  17. ^ "FSA, Islamist factions pledge to reconcile". The Daily Star. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "Syrian rebels try to agree peace talks stance in Turkey". Reuters. 18 January 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  19. ^ a b "The rise and ugly fall of a moderate Syrian rebel offers lessons for the West". Washington Post. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  20. ^ "After ISIL, Jabhat al-Nusra announces Islamic Emirate in Syria". ARA News. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  21. ^ "Al Qaeda group seizes bastion of Western-backed rebels in Syria's Idlib region". Reuters. 1 November 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  22. ^ "#Syria: Seven FSA groups (incl. Jabhat Akrad, Shams Shamal & Homs Revolutionary Union) form "The Revolutionary Army"". Twitter. 
  23. ^ "#SRO - EXCLUSIVE - Former Hazzm and #SRF forces allied with kurds and some #FSA small units to create Jaysh al-Thuwar (in 4 governorates)". Twitter. 
  24. ^ "Threatens to exit "Arab factions" him: repercussions Turkish intervention shake Syria's alliance forces of democracy east of the Euphrates". Al-Quds al-Arabi. 3 September 2016. 
  25. ^ "Military Council Leaders Resign". Syrian Observer. 16 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "Brigade Khalid bin Walid withdraw from Syria Revolutionaries Front". Now News. 31 July 2014. 
  27. ^ "Armed factions in the "Idlib" announces the formation of "rescue Syria Front"". Egypt Independent. 29 May 2014. 
  28. ^ Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (3 July 2017). Jonathan Spyer, ed. "Arab Media: Israeli Bombardment Killed, Wounded Targets inside Syria". Rubin Center. Retrieved 4 July 2017. 
  29. ^ "Dead and wounded in clashes between two factions revolutionists north of Quneitra". All4Syria. 7 April 2017. 
  30. ^ a b "SYRIAN REVOLUTIONARY FRONT ANNOUNCES NEW STRUCTURE AND FORMATION OF 1ST INFANTRY DIVISION". Syria's Tomorrow. 31 July 2017. 
  31. ^ Szakola, Albin. "FSA factions reorganizing in southern Syria". Retrieved 6 July 2016. 
  32. ^ احمد الجولاني (5 June 2016). "مميز// تشكيل فرقة سيف الجنوب في المنطقة الجنوبية بسوريا 5/6/2016" – via YouTube.