Liwa Ajnad al-Sham rejoins Ahrar al-Sham

By Josko Baric (Twitter)

Liwa Ajnad al-Sham and its designated artillery battalion (Katibat al-Madfaeih), defected from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and rejoined Ahrar al-Sham. The group was one of more than a dozen of units that defected from Ahrar al-Sham to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, when the latter was newly formed in the January of 2017, but is now back with its old leaders. Liwa Ajnad al-Sham is not to be confused with Ajnad al-Sham, whose greater Idlib branch joined Faylaq al-Sham in March 2017. 

According to Ahrar al-Sham's statement, the group returned to its ranks and formed a new Shura council under the leadership of Abu Bakr. Abu Muslim Taeum, the commander of Liwa Ajnad al-Sham, reportedly stated that they retrieved all of their military equipment from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and even recruited more people to the artillery battalion, bringing its manpower to around 210 fighters. Reasons provided by Abu Muslim for its defection from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham are the lack of cooperation between the ranks and display of thuggish, violent behavior towards other parties.

Liwa Anjad al-Sham is one of the oldest rebel formations in Syria, dating back to 2011 and it is mostly known for clashes with Syrian Arab Army in Raqqa governorate.