Liwa al-Haqq

FormedAugust 11, 2012
DisbandedDecember 2014
First AttackJune 14, 2013: Liwa al-Haqq worked with Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawhid, and Ahrar al-Shimal to take over a military housing complex in Idlib. (unknown casualties). [1] 
Last AttackJune 14, 2013: Liwa al-Haqq worked with Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawhid, and Ahrar al-Shimal to take over a military housing complex in Idlib. (unknown casualties). [2] 
UpdatedAugust 5, 2016

Narrative Summary

Liwa al-Haqq (the Truth Brigade, Haqq Brigade of Homs) was a Syrian militant organization formed in May 2012 to oppose the Assad Regime that included ten brigades at its height (Katibat al-Siddiq, Katibat al-Furati, Katibat al-Huda, Katibat al-Naser li-Din Allah, Katibat Sebaa al-Birr, Katibat Shuhada Baba Amr, Kataeb Atbaa al-Rasoul, Katibat al-Ansar, Kata’ib al-Bara, Katibat al-Bara bin Malek, and Katibat Seif Allah). [3] The group was prominent in the province of Homs and was active in Idlib and Raqqa provinces as well. [4] [5] [6]

While Liwa al-Haqq engaged in few documented attacks, it was an active member of several prominent Syrian opposition coalitions. Most notably, Liwa al-Haqq was a member of the Syrian Islamic Front (SIF) umbrella organization, which was founded in 2012, and it was also affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA). [7] [8] [9] However, Liwa al-Haqq began to distance itself from the FSA on September 23, 2013 when it joined the Islamic Coalition, a political group that called for the implementation of Shariah law in Syria, the opposition to the Assad Regime to be run only by groups fighting inside Syria, and opposed the FSA supported National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. [10] [11] [12] In November 2013, Liwa al-Haqq left the FSA to join the Islamic Front umbrella group which coincided with the dissolution of the SIF. [13] [14]

After joining the Islamic Front, Liwa al-Haqq commander Sheikh Abu Rateb served as the organization’s general secretary until the Islamic Front disbanded in mid-2014 due to disagreements between two of its largest founding members, Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam. [15] [16] When the Islamic Front dissolved, Ahrar al-Sham allegedly absorbed Liwa al-Haqq. [17] However, some reports indicate that Liwa al-Haqq may still be acting autonomously, and it is listed as an independent member of the Jaysh al-Fatah umbrella organization, which rose to prominence after successfully pushing the Syrian army out of Idlib Province in March 2015. [18] [19] [20]

Leadership

  1. Sheikh Abu Rateb (Unknown to Unknown): Rateb was Liwa al-Haqq’s leader and was the Islamic Front umbrella organization’s general secretary. Before the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, he was a Syrian businessman.[21]
  2. Abderrahman Suweiss (Unknown to Unknown): Suweiss ran Liwa al-Haqq’s military operations. Suweiss was a former paratrooper officer in the Syrian military, and was jailed in 1999 for his alleged membership in an outlawed Islamist organization. He was released in an amnesty deal at the beginning of the 2011 uprising.[22]

Ideology & Goals

Liwa al-Haqq opposed the Assad Regime. [23] The group was also part of the Islamic Coalition, a political group that called for the implementation of Shariah law in Syria. [24]

Name Changes

Liwa al-Haqq did not change its name.

Size Estimates

None available.

Designated/Listed

Liwa al-Haqq was not a designated terrorist organization. [25]

Since December 2015, the UN Security Council has been trying to assemble a list of terrorist groups in Syria. The UAE, Lebanon, and Iraq support classifying Liwa al-Haqq as a terrorist organization, but they have not been able to achieve a unanimous consensus. [26] [27]

Resources

Liwa al-Haqq received donations from prominent Kuwait-based Salafi fundraiser Sheikh Hajjaj al-Ajami. [28] [29]

External Influences

Some analysts claim that Saudi Arabia played a large role in establishing the Islamic Front, an umbrella group that included Liwa al-Haqq and had 40,000-70,000 members at its peak, which made it Syria’s largest alliance of opposition forces. [30] [31]

Geographical Locations

Liwa al-Haqq was one of the most dominant opposition forces in the Homs region in 2014. [32]  Additional reports indicate that the group was active in the provinces of Idlib and Raqqa as well. [33] [34]

Targets & Tactics

Liwa al-Haqq targeted the Assad Regime and its associated forces. [35]

Political Activities

On September 23, 2013, Liwa al-Haqq joined the Islamic Coalition, a political group that called for the implementation of Shariah law in Syria and the opposition to the Assad Regime to be run only by groups fighting inside Syria. It also opposed the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, which had the support of the Free Syrian Army’s Syrian National Council, a group comprised mostly of exiled Syrians. [36] [37] [38]

Major Attacks

  1. June 14, 2013: Liwa al-Haqq worked with Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawhid, and Ahrar al-Shimal to take over a military housing complex in Idlib (unknown casualties).[39]

Relationships with Other Groups

Liwa al-Tawhid participated in attacks with Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra. [40] 

Liwa al-Haqq was active in multiple Syrian umbrella organizations and movements. It was a member of the Syrian Islamic Front (SIF) umbrella organization, which was founded in 2012 to unite Syrian Islamic opposition forces and pursue a Syrian state governed by Shariah law. [41] [42] While the SIF refused to come under the command of the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) Supreme Military Council (SMC), it regularly coordinated military maneuvers with SMC affiliated brigades. [43] Liwa al-Haqq was also affiliated with the FSA. [44] However it began to distance itself from the FSA on September 23, 2013 when it joined the Islamic Coalition, a political group that called for the implementation of Shariah in Syria and the opposition to the Assad Regime to be run only by groups fighting inside Syria. It also opposed the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, which had the support of the Free Syrian Army’s Syrian National Council, a group comprised mostly of exiled Syrians.  [45] [46] [47] In November 2013, Liwa al-Haqq left the FSA to join the Islamic Front, which coincided with the dissolution of the SIF. [48] [49]

In November 2013, Liwa al-Haqq joined six other Islamist militant groups (Ahrar al-Sham, Ansar al-Sham, Suqquor al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawhid, Jaysh al-Islam, and the Kurdish Islamic Front) in the Islamic Front, the largest alliance of Syrian opposition forces formed during the Syrian Civil War to date. The Islamic Front sought to replace the Assad Regime with an Islamic government and had 40,000-70,000 fighters at its peak. [50] [51] Liwa al-Haqq commander Sheikh Abu Rateb served as the organization’s general secretary until the Islamic Front disbanded in mid-2014 due to disagreements between Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam. [52] [53] After the Islamic Front dissolved, Ahrar al-Sham allegedly absorbed Liwa al-Haqq. However, some reports indicate that Liwa al-Haqq may still be acting autonomously, and it is listed as an independent member of the Jaysh al-Fatah umbrella organization, which rose to prominence after successfully pushing the Syrian army out of Idlib Province in March 2015.  [54] [55] [56]

Community Relationships

No information available.


References

  1. ^ Roggio, Bill. "Al Nusrah Front Launches Joint Assaults with Numerous Syrian Rebel Groups." Long War Journal. Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, 31 July 2013. Web. 04 Aug. 2014.
  2. ^ Roggio, Bill. "Al Nusrah Front Launches Joint Assaults with Numerous Syrian Rebel Groups." Long War Journal. Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, 31 July 2013. Web. 04 Aug. 2014.
  3. ^ Lund, Aron. "Syria's Salafi Insurgents: The Rise of the Syrian Islamic Front." UI Occasional Papers (n.d.): 31. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Mar. 2013. Web. 7 Aug. 2014.
  4. ^ "Guide to the Syrian Rebels." BBC News. N.p., 13 Dec. 2013. Web. 05 Aug. 2014.
  5. ^ Roggio, Bill. "Al Nusrah Front Launches Joint Assaults with Numerous Syrian Rebel Groups." Long War Journal. Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, 31 July 2013. Web. 04 Aug. 2014.
  6. ^ “Islamic State closes in on Syrian city of Aleppo.” Reuters. CNBC, 10 Oct. 2015. Web. 21 Jul. 2016.
  7. ^ Zellin, Aaron. "The Syrian Islamic Front: A New Extremist Force." The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. N.p., 4 Feb. 2013. Web. 08 Aug. 2014.
  8. ^ Zelin, Aaron, and Charles Lister. "The Crowning of the Syrian Islamic Front." Foreign Policy. N.p., 24 Jun. 2013. Web. 18 Jul. 2014.
  9. ^ Roggio, Bill. "Al Nusrah Front Launches Joint Assaults with Numerous Syrian Rebel Groups." Long War Journal. Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, 31 July 2013. Web. 04 Aug. 2014.
  10. ^ “Factbox: Syrian rebels against opposition coalition.” Reuters. Thomas Reuters, 25 Sep. 2013. Web. 21 Jul. 2016.
  11. ^ Oweis, Khaled Yacoub. "Insight: Saudi Arabia Boosts Salafist Rivals to Al Qaeda in Syria." Reuters. N.p., 01 Oct. 2013. Web. 07 Aug. 2014.
  12. ^ “Key Syrian rebels reject National Coalition.” Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera, 25 Sep. 2013. Web. 7 Jul. 2016
  13. ^ Roggio, Bill. “4 battalions from Qatar-backed Islamist brigade defect to wage ‘armed jihadist struggle.’” The Long War Journal. Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 5 Dec. 2013. Web. 21 Jul. 2016.
  14. ^ Lund, Aron. The Politics of the Islamic Front, Part 1: Structure and Support." Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. N.p., 14 Jan. 2014. Web. 01 Jul. 2014.
  15. ^ "Guide to the Syrian Rebels." BBC News. N.p., 13 Dec. 2013. Web. 05 Aug. 2014.
  16. ^ Lund, Aron. “Islamist Mergers in Syria: Ahrar al-Sham Swallows Suqour al-Sham.” Syria In Crisis. The Carnegie Endowment For International Peace, 23 mar. 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.
  17. ^ Lund, Aron. “Islamist Mergers in Syria: Ahrar al-Sham Swallows Suqour al-Sham.” Syria In Crisis. The Carnegie Endowment For International Peace, 23 mar. 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.
  18. ^ Lund, Aron. “Islamist Mergers in Syria: Ahrar al-Sham Swallows Suqour al-Sham.” Syria In Crisis. The Carnegie Endowment For International Peace, 23 mar. 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.
  19. ^ “Syria Frontlines Update.” Syria Conflict Mapping Project. The Carter center, 9 Oct. 2015. Web. 13 May. 2016.
  20. ^ Rifai, Ryan. “Syrian group claims control of Idlib province.” Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera, 9 Jun. 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.
  21. ^ "Guide to the Syrian Rebels." BBC News. N.p., 13 Dec. 2013. Web. 05 Aug. 2014.  Lund, Aron."Syria's Salafi Insurgents: The Rise of the Syrian Islamic Front." UI Occasional Papers (n.d.): 31. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Mar. 2013. Web. 7 Au
  22. ^ Lund, Aron. "Syria's Salafi Insurgents: The Rise of the Syrian Islamic Front." UI Occasional Papers (n.d.): 31. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Mar. 2013. Web. 7 Aug. 2014.
  23. ^ Zellin, Aaron. "The Syrian Islamic Front: A New Extremist Force." The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. N.p., 4 Feb. 2013. Web. 08 Aug. 2014.
  24. ^ “Key Syrian rebels reject National Coalition.” Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera, 25 Sep. 2013. Web. 7 Jul. 2016
  25. ^ Lund, Aron. "Syria's Salafi Insurgents: The Rise of the Syrian Islamic Front." UI Occasional Papers (n.d.): 31. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Mar. 2013. Web. 7 Aug. 2014.
  26. ^ Miles, Tom and Irish, John. “Syrian terrorist list produces 163 names and no agreement.” Reuters. Thomas Reuters, 17 Feb. 2016. Web. 28 May. 2016.
  27. ^ “Countries List Of Armed Groups Acting In Syria.” Reuters. Thomas Reuters, 2016. Web. 7 May. 2016.
  28. ^ Lund, Aron. "Syria's Salafi Insurgents: The Rise of the Syrian Islamic Front." UI Occasional Papers (n.d.): 31. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Mar. 2013. Web. 7 Aug. 2014.
  29. ^ Lund, Aron. "Holy Warriors." Foreign Policy (n.d.): n. pag. 15 Oct. 2012. Web. 18 Jul. 2014.
  30. ^ Hussein, Tam. "The Ansar Al-Sham Battalions." Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. N.p., 24 Mar. 2014. Web. 07 Aug. 2014.
  31. ^ Lund, Aron. "The Politics of the Islamic Front, Part 1: Structure and Support." Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. N.p., 14 Jan. 2014. Web. 07 Aug. 2014.
  32. ^ "Guide to the Syrian Rebels." BBC News. N.p., 13 Dec. 2013. Web. 05 Aug. 2014.
  33. ^ Roggio, Bill. "Al Nusrah Front Launches Joint Assaults with Numerous Syrian Rebel Groups." Long War Journal. Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, 31 July 2013. Web. 04 Aug. 2014.
  34. ^ “Islamic State closes in on Syrian city of Aleppo.” Reuters. CNBC, 10 Oct. 2015. Web. 21 Jul. 2016.
  35. ^ Lund, Aron."Syria's Salafi Insurgents: The Rise of the Syrian Islamic Front." UI Occasional Papers (n.d.): 31. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Mar. 2013. Web. 7 Aug. 2014.
  36. ^ “Factbox: Syrian rebels against opposition coalition.” Reuters. Thomas Reuters, 25 Sep. 2013. Web. 21 Jul. 2016.
  37. ^ Oweis, Khaled Yacoub. "Insight: Saudi Arabia Boosts Salafist Rivals to Al Qaeda in Syria." Reuters. N.p., 01 Oct. 2013. Web. 07 Aug. 2014.
  38. ^ “Key Syrian rebels reject National Coalition.” Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera, 25 Sep. 2013. Web. 7 Jul. 2016
  39. ^ Roggio, Bill. "Al Nusrah Front Launches Joint Assaults with Numerous Syrian Rebel Groups." Long War Journal. Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, 31 July 2013. Web. 04 Aug. 2014.
  40. ^ Roggio, Bill. "Al Nusrah Front Launches Joint Assaults with Numerous Syrian Rebel Groups." Long War Journal. Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, 31 July 2013. Web. 04 Aug. 2014.
  41. ^ Zellin, Aaron. "The Syrian Islamic Front: A New Extremist Force." The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. N.p., 4 Feb. 2013. Web. 08 Aug. 2014.
  42. ^ Zelin, Aaron, and Charles Lister. "The Crowning of the Syrian Islamic Front." Foreign Policy. N.p., 24 Jun. 2013. Web. 18 Jul. 2014.
  43. ^ Guide to the Syrian Rebels. BBC News. N.p., 13 Dec. 2013. Web. 20 Jul. 2014.
  44. ^ Roggio, Bill. "Al Nusrah Front Launches Joint Assaults with Numerous Syrian Rebel Groups." Long War Journal. Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, 31 July 2013. Web. 04 Aug. 2014.
  45. ^ “Factbox: Syrian rebels against opposition coalition.” Reuters. Thomas Reuters, 25 Sep. 2013. Web. 21 Jul. 2016.
  46. ^ Oweis, Khaled Yacoub. "Insight: Saudi Arabia Boosts Salafist Rivals to Al Qaeda in Syria." Reuters. N.p., 01 Oct. 2013. Web. 07 Aug. 2014.
  47. ^ “Key Syrian rebels reject National Coalition.” Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera, 25 Sep. 2013. Web. 7 Jul. 2016
  48. ^ Roggio, Bill. “4 battalions from Qatar-backed Islamist brigade defect to wage ‘armed jihadist struggle.’” The Long War Journal. Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 5 Dec. 2013. Web. 21 Jul. 2016.
  49. ^ Lund, Aron. The Politics of the Islamic Front, Part 1: Structure and Support." Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. N.p., 14 Jan. 2014. Web. 01 Jul. 2014.
  50. ^ Lund, Aron. The Politics of the Islamic Front, Part 1: Structure and Support." Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. N.p., 14 Jan. 2014. Web. 01 Jul. 2014.
  51. ^ Hassan, Hassan. “Front to Back.” Foreign Policy. The FP Group, 4 Mar. 2014. Web. 7 May, 2016.
  52. ^ "Guide to the Syrian Rebels." BBC News. N.p., 13 Dec. 2013. Web. 05 Aug. 2014.
  53. ^ Lund, Aron. “Islamist Mergers in Syria: Ahrar al-Sham Swallows Suqour al-Sham.” Syria In Crisis. The Carnegie Endowment For International Peace, 23 mar. 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.
  54. ^ Lund, Aron. “Islamist Mergers in Syria: Ahrar al-Sham Swallows Suqour al-Sham.” Syria In Crisis. The Carnegie Endowment For International Peace, 23 mar. 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.
  55. ^ “Syria Frontlines Update.” Syria Conflict Mapping Project. The Carter center, 9 Oct. 2015. Web. 13 May. 2016.
  56. ^ Rifai, Ryan. “Syrian group claims control of Idlib province.” Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera, 9 Jun. 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.

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