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Entries in Al-Farouq Brigades (5)


Syria Live Coverage: The End of the Brahimi Mission?

2024 GMT: State Department Weighs In. The US State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, said that the capture of the Taftanaz airbase is a significant development:

"They are taking credit now for having taken the air base," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Friday. "And, as you know, we consider this significant on two fronts.

"First of all, to ground some of the air assets of the Assad regime that they've been using against civilians. And, secondly, to break their ability to resupply in the north."

There is a problem with statements like these - Taftanaz was captured primarily by Jabhat al Nusra and the Ahrar al Sham brigades, two Jihadi groups, and the State Department has already place Al Nusra on the terror list.

Meanwhile, as if to answer criticisms that the US is not doing enough to help the Syrian refugees affected by the worst weather in decades to hit the region, the State Department was pushing a summary of the humanitarian aid donated by the US government.

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Syria 1st-Hand: The Story of The Beloved of Allah Brigade (Hubbard)

Photo: Khalil Hamra/APOn Nov. 17, the brigade called "The Beloved of Allah" braced for its biggest challenge yet, making it clear how far its members had come and how far the war had brought them from their former lives.

Men who once sold real estate, laid bricks, wore suits and treated sick farm animals armed themselves with vests laden with ammunition, hand grenades and pocket-sized copies of the Quran. After a two-month siege, they planned to storm a major military base in one of the larger coordinated attacks of the uprising.

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Syria 1st-Hand: Who are the Al-Farouq Brigades? (Abouzeid)

Photo: Sebastiano Tomado/SIPA USAThe Farouq Brigades emerged from the central city of Homs and nearby Rastan just months into the now 18-month Syrian uprising. In the period since, operating under the FSA umbrella, they have formed units across the country, from Daraa in the south near the Jordanian border to the northern region bordering Turkey. According to some of their leaders, they comprise a force of 20,000 fighters. The brigades take the name Farouq from Omar bin al-Khatab, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad, political architect of the caliphate and, historically, the second Caliph.

The brigades are both a source of envy and pride among the rebels. Dressed in their matching military fatigues emblazoned with the brigade’s black insignia, they look like a professional fighting force, unlike the many hodgepodge groups in their mismatched items of military and civilian clothing. The Farouq’s slick media operation ensures that their exploits are widely known. Their videos are quickly uploaded onto YouTube, along with the group’s statements. Most importantly, their support — both in terms of money and weapons — is strong and consistent.

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Syria Video Feature: Inside the Al-Farouq Brigade (Mani/Channel 4)

To its supporters, the Al-Farouq Brigade of the Free Syrian Army is a leading unit in the fight to remove the Assad regime; to its critics, it is guilty of kidnappings and abuses.

Channel 4 features the work of French filmmaker Mani as he moves on the front line with the Brigade. A take-away line from a fighter, "It's not about the army anymore or toppling the regime. It's a sectarian conflict now."


Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: An Assad-Annan Plan?