The al-Fatah Brigade was formed in the city of Tel Rifaat in
the northern countryside of the Aleppo governorate in mid-2012. The brigade
continues to be active in Aleppo city and the Aleppo countryside, but has seen its capabilities and importance erode since the beginning of 2013.
The al-Fatah Brigade was recently unified with the al-Tawheed Brigade and is no longer an independent unit.
Last updated: 9/27/2013
The al-Islam Brigade was formed in the city of Duma in the
Damascus Countryside governorate in mid-2012. Led by a family of avowed Salafi sheikhs,
the brigade has been at the forefront of many high-profile operations and
campaigns carried out in and around Damascus. Despite its ultraconservative
orientation, the brigade has played a leading role in what is thought to be one
of the more moderate armed opposition umbrella organizations in Syria, the
Syrian Islamic Liberation Front (SILF).
The al-Haq Brigade was formed mid-2012 in Homs in an effort
to unite the governorate’s armed opposition. The group is ideologically very
conservative and is a founding member of the ultraconservative Islamist armed
opposition umbrella organization, the Syrian Islamic Front (SIF). Today the
brigade remains one of the largest armed opposition units operating in the Homs
governorate and maintains a presence in the northern governorates of Idlib and
The al-Tawheed Brigade was formed in the northern
countryside of the Aleppo governorate from a large coalition of more than thirty
opposition units in mid-2012. Initiating the campaign to liberate the city of
Aleppo, the al-Tawheed Brigade maintains a high profile and has become one of
the largest and most powerful armed opposition groups operating in Syria today.
It is one of the leading members of the Syrian armed opposition umbrella
organization, the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front (SILF).
The al-Farouq Battalions were formed in 2011 in
the city of al-Rastan in the Homs governorate by some of the first army
officers to defect from the Syrian army.
As the principal group resisting the regime’s assault on the Homs neighborhood
of Baba Amro in early 2012, the brigade combined its field effectiveness and
media savvy to quickly become one of the country’s largest armed opposition
groups, with an especially significant presence in central and northern Syria.
The Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham was
originally formed in Idlib in 2011 as the Ahrar al-Sham Battalions. One of the
first armed opposition groups to exhibit an Islamist character, the group
proved very effective against the regime and established a strong foothold in
the Idlib countryside very early on. Acting as the anchor for a coalition of
ultraconservative Islamist armed opposition units, the Syrian Islamic Front
(SIF), the Ahrar al-Sham Battalions absorbed a number of smaller SIF member
groups to become the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham and is now active