|Syrian Islamic Liberation Front|
جبهة تحرير سوريا الإسلامية
Jabha Tahrir Suriya al Islamiyyah
|Participant in Syrian civil war|
|File:Syrian Liberation Front Logo.jpg|
|Active||September 2012 – present|
Ahmed Eissa al-Sheikh (Suqour al-Sham)|
Zahran Alloush (spokesperson) (WIA) (Liwa al-Islam)
|Headquarters||Sarjeh, Idlib Governorate|
35,000 - 40,000 (own claim)|
|Allies||Al-Nusra Front (formerly) Ahrar al-Sham Free Syrian Army|
Syrian Armed Forces|
Democratic Union Party (PYD)
|Battles/wars||Syrian civil war|
The Syrian Islamic Liberation Front (SILF; Arabic language: جبهة تحرير سوريا الإسلامية, Jabhat Tahrīr Sūriyā al-Islāmiyyah), is a coalition of Islamist rebel brigades who are fighting against the Bashar al-Assad government in the Syrian civil war. As of late 2012, it was one of the strongest armed coalitions in Syria, representing up to half of Bashar al-Assad's armed opponents.
Founded in September 2012 after secret negotiations between the group's leaders, the group is headed by Ahmed Eissa al-Sheikh, the leader of the Suqour al-Sham Brigade. The coalition includes around 20 Islamist groups and has tens of thousands of fighters active throughout much of Syria, overshadowing the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in some regions. While some member groups appear to consider themselves members of both the Syrian Liberation Front and the FSA, Abu Issa says the group aims to maintain brotherly relations with the FSA while declining to offer full support and criticising those leaders of the FSA that remain in Turkey.
The coalition includes some of the most important rebel units active in the civil war, including the Suqour al-Sham Brigade (Idlib), Farouq Brigade (Homs), Liwa al-Islam (Damascus) and Tawhid Brigade (Aleppo). Other prominent groups in the coalition include Liwa Dawud, the Deir ez-Zor Revolutionary Council (Deir ez-Zor), Tajamo Ansar al-Islam (Damascus), Amr Ibn al-Aas Brigade (Aleppo), and al-Naser Salaheddin Brigade (Latakia). These groups are geographically scattered, vary in size and influence, and are dependent on different sources of funding. It is unclear how effectively the coalition coordinates between the varying groups or how durable the coalition will be.
Abu Issa says that the coalition obtains their weapons from attacks on the Syrian Armed Forces and from arms dealers inside and outside Syria, however, the group reportedly receives support from Turkey and Qatar. It has been accused by members of the FSA of monopolizing the supply of weapons through Turkey in order to marginalize unaffiliated rebel groups.
The group has a Sunni Islamist ideology. It includes both Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist inspired groups, however many of the more hardline Islamist groups active in the Syrian civil war are members of the Syrian Islamic Front. The group does not include the jihadist Al-Nusra Front, and Ahrar al-Sham withdrew from the group in protest at the killing of a jihadist leader by one of the other groups. Some in the FSA have criticized the group for its emphasis on an Islamic identity in a religiously mixed country. The group has a minimalist political platform, promising to protect minorities and stating that religious Muslim law is the point of reference for the group. In July 2013, the leader of the group called for sectarian attacks on Alawite homes and villages, but retracted the statement weeks later.
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