Syrian Liberation Front
|Syrian Liberation Front|
Arabic: جبهة تحرير سورياParticipant in the Syrian Civil War
Jabhat Tahrir Suriya
The logo of the Syrian Liberation Front
|Active||18 February 2018 – present|
|Area of operations||Syria|
|Part of||Revolutionaries of Atarib (2018)[better source needed]|
Maarrat al-Nu'man Military Council (2018)
National Front for Liberation (since August 2018)
|Allies|| Turkey[better source needed]|
Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army
Suqour al-Sham Brigades[better source needed]
Jaysh al-Izza[better source needed]
Tahrir al-Sham (sometimes, ceasefire since April 2018)
|Opponents|| Syrian Armed Forces|
Tahrir al-Sham (ceasefire since April 2018)
|Battles and wars||Syrian 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, and stated that it was formed as a result of an initiative by the Syrian Islamic Council.
Initially, Jaber Ali Pasha, deputy commander of Ahrar al-Sham, was nominated as the general commander of the Syrian Liberation Front. 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. 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. 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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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