Syrian Liberation Front

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Syrian Liberation Front
Arabic: جبهة تحرير سوريا
Jabhat Tahrir Suriya
Participant in the Syrian Civil War
The logo of the Syrian Liberation Front
The logo of the Syrian Liberation Front
Active18 February 2018 – present
IdeologySunni Islamism[1]
Groups
Leaders
  • Hassan Soufan[3] (general commander)
  • Sheikh Tawfiq Shahabuddin[4]
    (deputy commander and Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement commander)
  • Hussam Atrash[4]
    (head of political bureau)
  • Capt. Khalid Abu Yaman[4]
    (military commander)
  • Jaber Ali Pasha ("Abu Bara")[5]
    (Ahrar al-Sham deputy commander)
Area of operationsSyria
Part ofRevolutionaries of Atarib (2018)[6][better source needed]
Maarrat al-Nu'man Military Council (2018)[7]
National Front for Liberation (since August 2018)[8]
AlliesTurkey Turkey[9][better source needed]
Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army
Jaysh al-Ahrar
Suqour al-Sham Brigades[10][better source needed]
Jaysh al-Izza[11][better source needed]
Tahrir al-Sham (sometimes, ceasefire since April 2018)
Opponents Syrian Armed Forces[3]

 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Syrian Democratic Forces

Tahrir al-Sham (ceasefire since April 2018)[12]
Battles and warsSyrian Civil War

The Syrian Liberation Front (Arabic: جبهة تحرير سوريا‎, Jabhat Tahrir Suriya, JTS) is a Syrian rebel group formed as a merger of Ahrar al-Sham and the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, two hardline Sunni Islamist groups and the two largest rebel groups in northwestern Syria behind their main rival, Tahrir al-Sham. In its formation statement on 18 February 2018, the Syrian Liberation Front called on other rebel groups to join it,[1] and stated that it was formed as a result of an initiative by the Syrian Islamic Council.[4]

Leadership[edit]

Initially, Jaber Ali Pasha, deputy commander of Ahrar al-Sham, was nominated as the general commander of the Syrian Liberation Front.[5] Sheikh Tawfiq Shahabuddin, commander of the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, was named the deputy commander. Hussam Atrash and Captain Khalid Abu Yaman were appointed as the political and military commanders of the group.[4] After hours of disputes over leadership positions, however, Hassan Soufan, general commander of Ahrar al-Sham, took over as the general commander of the group, replacing Jaber Ali Pasha.[15] Elected in October 2017, Hassan Soufan was the leader of Ahrar al-Sham and stated he was determined to distinguish his movement from “criminal” and “corrupt” projects, such as “Hitish and Daesh".[16]

History[edit]

On 19 February 2018, the day after the Syrian Liberation Front was established, violent clashes erupted between the group and Tahrir al-Sham in the western Aleppo Governorate. The conflict soon spread to the Idlib Governorate and the SLF captured the city of Maarrat al-Nu'man, the towns of Ariha and Tramla, and the Wadi Deif military base from HTS on 21 February.[12]

By April 18, pro-SLF media reported that after 60 days of fighting, 750 Tahrir al-Sham fighters and 225 SLF and Suqour al-Sham Brigades fighters had been killed, 3,000 fighters from both sides had been wounded, and 15 armoured vehicles (most of them belonging to Tahrir al-Sham) had been destroyed. The fighting ended with a ceasefire and gains for both sides.[17]

On 3 May, the Syrian Liberation Front, Suqour al-Sham, Sham Legion, and the Free Idlib Army formed a military council in the SLF-held Maarrat al-Nu'man. The council stated that it will not allow other factions to be formed in the city.[7]

On 1 August, the Syrian Liberation Front, along with Suqour al-Sham, Jaysh al-Ahrar, and the Damascus Gathering, joined the National Front for Liberation. Anad al-Darwish ("Abu al-Munathir"), considered to be Ahrar al-Sham's most powerful military commander, was named the NFL's chief of staff.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Hardline Syria rebels announce merger". Agence France-Presse. 19 February 2018.
  2. ^ @badly_xeroxed (18 February 2018). "Liwa al-Adiyat of the Badia Sector..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ a b "Ahrar al-Sham, Nour al-Din al-Zenki unify against Syrian regime". Daily Sabah with Anadolu Agency. 19 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e "أحرار الشام والزنكي يشكلون "جبهة تحرير سوريا"". Baladi News Network. 18 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b "مصدر: جابر علي باشا قائدًا عامًا لـ "جبهة تحرير سوريا" للمزيد:". Enab Baladi. 18 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Syrian War Daily – 2nd of March 2018". 2 March 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Junta for Revolutionary factions of Ma'arat al-Nu'man taking actions to control security". Syria Call. 3 May 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Meet the leading leaders of the "National Liberation Front"". Enab Baladi. 1 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Idlib Rebel Civil War – 28/2/18". Syrian War Daily. 1 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Syrian War Daily – 21st of February 2018". Syrian War Daily. 21 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Syrian Liberation Front to Merge with Several Free Syrian Army Groups – Report". SouthFront. 7 June 2018.
  12. ^ a b Waleed Khaled a-Noufal; Tariq Adely (22 February 2018). "Two of the largest factions in Syria's northwest merge, challenge HTS dominance". Syria Direct.
  13. ^ Lindsey Snell (30 July 2018). "The Last of the Syrian Good-Guy Rebels". The Daily Beast.
  14. ^ "Syrian War Daily – 19th of June 2018". 19 June 2018.
  15. ^ "خلاف يعيد حسن صوفان قائدًا لـ "جبهة تحرير سوريا" للمزيد:". Enab Baladi. 18 February 2018.
  16. ^ "How al-Qa`ida Lost Control of its Syrian Affiliate: The Inside Story". Combating Terrorism Center. 15 February 2018.
  17. ^ "60 Days of clashes & Shocking numbers of deaths of HTS ,JTS & Soqour al-Sham". Syria Call. 18 April 2018.

External links[edit]