Puneet Varma

Ansar al Sham

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Ideology  Islamism
Strength  2,500 (March 2014)
Ansar al-Sham
Active  September 2012 – 7 February 2017
Leaders  Abu Omar al-Jamil (overall leader) Abu Musa al-Shishani (Military Commander)
Headquarters  Jabal al Akrad, Latakia
Area of operations  Latakia Governorate Idlib Governorate

Ansar al-Sham (Arabic: كتائب أنصار الشام‎‎, Supporters of the Levant) was an armed insurgent organisation that has been active during the Syrian civil war.

Founded in September 2012 by a Latakian veteran of the Afghan Jihad known as Abu Omar, Ansar al-Sham brought together a wide range of mostly Syrian fighters in North Latakia Governorate on a general Islamist platform. The group's military leader is a Chechen known as Abu Musa al-Shishani, and it maintained good relations with a wide variety of other opposition groups in the area, from the Free Syria Army to Al-Nusra Front. In December 2012, Ansar al-Sham joined with other insurgent groups to found the Syrian Islamic Front umbrella organisation, in November 2013 the SIF was dissolved and Liwa al-Haqq, Ansar al-Sham and Ahrar ash-Sham joined the broader Islamic Front alliance.

It played a lead role in the 2014 Latakia offensive against the Syrian Government.

On 15 December 2016, the group declared that it decided to completely merge under Jaysh al-Islam's Idlib branch. On 25 January 2017, Jaysh al-Islam's Idlib branch joined Ahrar al-Sham, thus Ansar al-Sham also joined.

On 7 February 2017, Ansar al-Sham joined Tahrir al-Sham.

References

Ansar al-Sham Wikipedia


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