appendix 2: armed opposition groupsAleppo ProvinceAbabeel BattalionArea of Operations:	Aleppo ProvinceCommander:		        ...
Abu Bakr al-Sideeq BattalionArea of Operations:	Idlib cityCommander:		UNKEstimated Strength:	UNKLittle information is avai...
Mohammed Hussein al-Hallaq Company (Osama bin Zaid Battalion)Area of Operations:	 Kafr Nabuda, Idlib/HamaCommander:		     ...
Mohammed al-Sheikh CompanyArea of Operations:	Idlib/HamaCommander:		         Lieutenant Mohammed BaseEstimated Strength:	 ...
When the FSA announced its expanded formal structure in October 2011, it included Captain al-Kurdi as thecommander of the ...
Ali bin Abi Taleb CompanyArea of Operations:	 Houleh, Homs ProvinceCommander:		         Lieutenant Faiez Ahmed al-Abdullah...
The Shuhadaa al-Hurria Battalion operates in close coordination with the the Ahmed Khalaf Battalion thatoperates less than...
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Appendix II: Syrian Armed Opposition Groups

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Appendix II: Syrian Armed Opposition Groups

  1. 1. appendix 2: armed opposition groupsAleppo ProvinceAbabeel BattalionArea of Operations: Aleppo ProvinceCommander: Captain Ammar al-WawiEstimated Strength: UNKCaptain al-Wawi has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks throughout Aleppo and northern Idlib onbehalf of the Ababeel Battalion; however, al-Wawi appears to have remained in Turkey since October 2011,making it difficult to attribute activity in Aleppo to his leadership and calling into question the credibility of thisrebel unit.Hourriyeh BattalionArea of Operations: Aleppo ProvinceCommander: Captain Ibrahim Munir MajmourEstimated Strength: 25-30Captain Majmour’s Hourriyeh Battalion was one of the twenty-two militia groups that the FSA announced in itsOctober 2011 video. In November 2011, Majmour made a video statement with a formation of over 25 rebels.Captain Majmour has close ties with FSA leadership but it is difficult to directly attribute the limited engagementsaround Aleppo to this rebel group.Idlib ProvinceHarmoush BattalionArea of Operations: Jebel al-ZawiyaCommander: Captain Yousif al-Din YahyaEstimated Strength: 150The rebels in Jebel al-Zawiya demonstrated impressive capability in October and November 2011, conductingraids and ambushes along the major roads that surrounded their mountain hideout. After regime security forcesinflicted a significant defeat to these rebels in late December, the group demonstrated resiliency by continuing toconduct major ambushes and raids as early as January 2012.Hamza BattalionArea of Operations: Idlib city and suburbsCommander: Colonel Abdul Satar YunsuEstimated Strength: UNKWhen the FSA announced its expanded formal structure in October 2011, it placed Colonel Yunsu in commandof the Hamza Battalion around Idlib city. Despite the frequency of rebel engagements in this area, it is difficult todetermine the Hamza Battalion’s effectiveness due to the number of other rebel groups operating in the area.46 www.Understandingwar.org
  2. 2. Abu Bakr al-Sideeq BattalionArea of Operations: Idlib cityCommander: UNKEstimated Strength: UNKLittle information is available about this rebel unit other than the fact the Dhiraar bin al-Azwar Company claimedaffiliation to the larger unit during its formation.Dhiraar bin al-Azwar CompanyArea of Operations: SarmeenCommander: UNKEstimated Strength: 15Little information is available about this rebel unit outside of the Dhiraar bin al-Azwar Company’s formationannouncement in early Decmeber 2011. The unit claimed affiliation to the larger Abu Bakr al-Sideeq Battalionduring its formation.Moua’aweya BattalionArea of Operations: SaraqibCommander: UNKEstimated Strength: 50This relatively large rebel group announced its formation mid-February video that showed a large gathering of atleast fifty rebel fighters. Journalists interviewing rebel fighters in Saraqib around this timeframe noted the level oforganization demonstrated by the Saraqib rebels.Hama Countryside & South Idlib ProvinceAbou al-Fidaa BattalionArea of Operations: Hama countryside & south Idlib provinceCommander: UNKEstimated Strength: 500 (combined with Osama bin Zaid Battalion)The Abou al-Fidaa was recognized as a Hama-based FSA unit in the October 2011 video statement that firstannounced the umbrella groups formal structure. A number of individuals who identified themselves as membersof this group have also identified themselves as members of the Osama bin Zaid Battalion, suggesting that the twogroups are intimately related, if not one and the same.Together, the Abou al-Fidaa and Osama bin Zaid Battalions conducted over twenty raids and abushes againstregime security forces in this agricultural plain at the foothills of the Idlib plateau north of Hama city.Osama bin Zaid BattalionArea of Operations: Hama countryside & south Idlib provinceCommander: Captain Zuhair al-SheikhEstimated Strength: 500 (combined with Abou al-Fidaa Battalion)Captain al-Sheikh, who originally identified himself a member of the Abou al-Fidaa Battalion, announced Osamabin Zaid’s formation at the end of November 2011. A number of his junior leaders have since referred themselvesas both members of Osama bin Zaid and Abou al-Fidaa, suggesting that the two groups are intimately related, ifnot one and the same. Together, the Abou al-Fidaa and Osama bin Zaid Battalions conducted over twenty raidsand abushes against regime security forces in this agricultural plain at the foothills of the Idlib plateau north ofHama city.www.Understandingwar.org 47
  3. 3. Mohammed Hussein al-Hallaq Company (Osama bin Zaid Battalion)Area of Operations: Kafr Nabuda, Idlib/HamaCommander: Lieutenant Ayman HallaqEstimated Strength: 25-50 (combined with Iman bin Hussein Abdullah Company)Lieutenant Hallaq appears alternately as the commander of the Mohammed Hussein al-Hallaq Company and theIman bin Hussein Abdallah Company. In February 2012 his unit captured and then released 11 Iranian pilgrimstravelling through Hama.Iman bin Hussein Abdullah Company (Abou al-Fidaa Battalion)Area of Operations: Kafr Nabuda, Idlib/HamaCommander: Lieutenant Ayman HallaqEstimated Strength: 25-50 (combined with the Mohammed Hussein al-Hallaq Company)Lieutenant Hallaq appears alternately as the commander of the Mohammed Hussein al-Hallaq Company and theIman bin Hussein Abdallah Company. In February 2012 his unit captured and then released 11 Iranian pilgrimstravelling through Hama.Kifah Sirmala CompanyArea of Operations: Khan Shaykhun, Idlib & Murak, HamaCommander: Lieutenant Abdel Majid AyoubEstimated Strength: 25The Kifa Sirmala Company is an organized under the Osama bin Zaid Battalion. The unit has claimed credit fordefending a demonstration in Khan Shaykhun, destroying armored troop carriers and ambushing loyalist forcesnear Murak.Manha al-Fikri CompanyArea of Operations: Khan Shaykhun, IdlibCommander: Lieutenant Abu ZaidEstimated Strength: 15The Manha al-Fikri Company is organized under the Osama bin Zaid Battalion and has claimed credit forengageming loyalist forces in Khan Shaykhun.Abu Ammar CompanyArea of Operations: IdlibCommander: Lieutenant Ameen Abu OthmanEstimated Strength: 15The Abu Ammar Company appears to have operated independently under Ahmad Mudir al-Hussein prior to hisdeath in mid-November 2011. The unit was incorporated into the Osama bin Zaid Battalion later in the monthunder the leadership of Lieutenant Othman.Hassan al-Hassan CompanyArea of Operations: Idlib/HamaCommander: Lieutenant Mahmoud Ahmed HummadiEstimated Strength: 15The Hassan al-Hassan Company is organized under the Osama bin Zaid Battalion and has claimed credit forambushing regime security forces on the Aleppo to Damascus highway.48 www.Understandingwar.org
  4. 4. Mohammed al-Sheikh CompanyArea of Operations: Idlib/HamaCommander: Lieutenant Mohammed BaseEstimated Strength: 15The Hassan al-Hassan Company is organized under the Osama bin Zaid Battalion but has not taken credit for anyspecific attacks.Khouder al-Sharif CompanyArea of Operations: Kafr Nabuda, Idlib/HamaCommander: Lieutenant Mohammed al-KhalEstimated Strength: 15-25This unit formed in mid-December 2011 and stated its affiliation with the Osama bin Zaid Battalion. One of itsLieutenants, Talal al-Masri, appeared in mid-February video stating his affiliation with both the Osama bin Zaidand Abou al-Fidaa Battalions.Mosaab al-Sabeh CompanyArea of Operations: UNKCommander: UNKEstimated Strength: 30This unit formed in mid-February 2012 and stated its affiliation with the Osama bin Zaid Battalion. No evidenceof the affiliation appears outside of this video statement, and the unit has not claimed responsibility for anyspecific engagements.Azz al-Din CompanyArea of Operations: IdlibCommander: Jafar Abdel Fatah AkraboEstimated Strength: 20This unit formed in mid-February 2012 and stated its affiliation with the Osama bin Zaid Battalion. No evidenceof the affiliation appears outside of this video statement, and the unit has not claimed responsibility for anyspecific engagements.Suleiman BattalionArea of Operations: south Idlib provinceCommander: Brigadier General Radwan al-Madloush (KIA, 14 November 2011)Estimated Strength: 25-50 (as of early November 2011)When the FSA announced its expanded formal structure in October 2011, it included Genaral Madloush’sSuleiman Battalion operating in the northern Hama countryside and Idlib province. This group seems to havedisbanded since the raid that killed the General, and its members have likely joined the Abou al-Fidaa Battalionand its affiliates.Qashoush BattalionArea of Operations: HamaCommander: Captain Ahyam al-KurdiEstimated Strength: UNKwww.Understandingwar.org 49
  5. 5. When the FSA announced its expanded formal structure in October 2011, it included Captain al-Kurdi as thecommander of the Qashoush Battalion in Hama. However, the Qashoush Battalion has not claimed responsibilityfor specific operations, unlike the other militias operating in the area, calling into question the credibility of thisunit.Homs ProvinceKhalid bin Walid BrigadeArea of Operations: Homs Province Commander: Major Abdul Rahman Sheikh AlEstimated Strength: 3,000+The Khalid bin Walid Brigade is the largest and most effective rebel force operating in Syria. After unitingvarious rebel commanders operating around Homs, the unit fought its first major engagement at the end ofSeptember 2011 when if conducted a fighting retreat against security forces in the town of Rastan.Farouq BattalionArea of Operations: Bab Amr, Homs CityCommander: Lieutenant Abdul Razaq Tlass (KIA, 9 February 2012)Estimated Strength: 1,000 (as of early Febraury 2012)Khalid bin Walid’s Farouq Battalion has been its most effective fighting unit, inflicting heavy losses on loyalistforces in Homs’ Bab Amr neighborhood in late October and early November 2011 under the leadership ofLieutenant Tlass. In February 2012, more stiff resistance in Bab Amr led to a three week siege and bombardmentof the neighborhood before ground forces entered to take the neighborhood.Fadi al-Qassim BattalionArea of Operations: Bab Dreib, Homs CityCommander: Captain Yousef al-HamoodEstimated Strength: 100Captain Yousef al-Hamood, one of the first members of Khalid bin Walid, conducted successful operationsagainst regime forces in Homs’ Bab Dreib neighborhood in January and February 2012.Mohammed Tlass BattalionArea of Operations: Rastan, Homs ProvinceCommander Major Ahmad BahbohEstimated Strength: 50-100Major Ahmad Bahboh, the original commander of Khalid bin Walid, has continued to conduct operations againstregime forces in Rastan through February 2012.Hamza BattalionArea of Operations: Rastan, Homs ProvinceCommander: Major Ali Mohammed AyoubEstimated Strength: 50-100The Hamza Battalion, led by Lieutenant Ibrahim Ayoub and his brother Major Ali Mohammed Ayoub succeededin wresting Rastan’s western neighborhoods from regime control in late January 2012.50 www.Understandingwar.org
  6. 6. Ali bin Abi Taleb CompanyArea of Operations: Houleh, Homs ProvinceCommander: Lieutenant Faiez Ahmed al-AbdullahEstimated Strength: 25The Ali bin Abi Taleb Company of the Khalid bin Walid Brigade withdrew from Rastan in September 2011during the regime’s offensive there and began conducting ambushes and raids against regime security forces in theHouleh region of the Homs countryside, a little more than 10km west of Rastan.Special Tasks BattalionArea of Operations: Zafaraneh & Mukhtarieh, Homs ProvinceCommander: Captain Rawad Ahmed al-AksahEstimated Strength: 50Dera’a ProvinceOmari BattalionArea of Operations: Dera’a ProvinceCommander: Captain Qais QatanehEstimated Strength: 100Captain Qais Qataneh’s Omari Battalion has successfully executed hit-and-run attacks against loyalist forcesacross a belt of towns in central Dera’a Province.Nasir Salah al-Din BattalionArea of Opeations: Sanamein, Dera’a ProvinceCommander: UNKEstimated Strength: 25-50The Nasir Salah al-Din Battalion operates independently of the Omari Battalion, conducting raids and ambushesin the countryside around Sanamein. The group coordinated with the Omari Battalion’s Captain Qataneh as ofNovember 2011.Ahmed Khalaf BattalionArea of Operations: Jizah, Dera’a ProvinceCommander: UNKEstimated Strength: 25The Ahmed Khalaf Battalion operates in close coordination with the Shuhadaa al-Hurria Battalion that operatesless than 10km to the north in Musayfirah, and maintains communication with the Omari Battalion. Theunit has conducted infrequent but particularly effective raids against regime checkpoints and has establishedroadblocks around Jizah.Shuhadaa al-Hurria BattalionArea of Operations: Musayfirah, Dera’a ProvinceCommander: UNKEstimated Strength: 25www.Understandingwar.org 51
  7. 7. The Shuhadaa al-Hurria Battalion operates in close coordination with the the Ahmed Khalaf Battalion thatoperates less than 10km to the south in Jizah, and maintains communication with the Omari Battalion. The unithas conducted infrequent but particularly effective raids against regime checkpoints.Raed al-Masri CompanyArea of Operations: Tasil, Dera’a ProvinceCommander: UNKEstimated Strength: 10Omari Battalion commander Qais Qataneh traveled to Tasil to establish the Raed al-Masri Company in Janaury2012, but the limited number of reported attacks in the Tasil area calls into question the credibility of this rebelgroup.52 www.Understandingwar.org

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