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Hezbollah-backed militias in Syria

Hizbollah

Last modified: 2020-09-26 by ian macdonald
Keywords: syria | hizbollah | fawj al-imam al-hujja |
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[Hizbollah (Syria)] image located by Bill Garrison, 21 August 2016


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Description

Flag, Syria, Hizbollah, Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja, c. July 2016
source: http://www.rubincenter.org/2016/08/syrian-hezbollah-militias-of-nubl-and-zahara/?utm_source=activetrail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=%20Rubin%20Newsletter,%20August%2017,%202016

Red flag with the Hizbollah emblem in white.
Bill Garrison, 21 August 2016


Faqj al-Imam al-Hujja militia, Allepo

[Hizbollah (Syria)] image located by Bill Garrison, 4 October 2016

Partisans of the Shi'a Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja militia north of Aleppo (c. 2016?)
Source: "Middle East Forum": http://www.meforum.org/6307/research-islamic-state-iraq-syria
Bill Garrison, 4 October 2016

The original source is http://www.aymennjawad.org/19110/syrian-hezbollah-militias-of-nubl-and-zahara (published on August 15, 2016).

The Syrian Shi'i towns of Nubl and Zahara' to the north of Aleppo city, like other Shi'i areas in Syria, have been associated with support for the regime from the outset. In addition, given that the religious affiliation (Twelver Shi'i Islam happens to coincide with that of Iran and its Lebanese client Hezbollah that are leading backers of the regime, Nubl and Zahara' have become one of many areas for the building of the concept of a native Syrian Hezbollah and 'Islamic Resistance' (Al-Muqawama al-Wataniya al-Aqa'idiya fi Souria).

At least two Syrian Hezbollah militias I have documented elsewhere have recruited people from Nubl and Zahara'. One of these militias is the National Ideological Resistance, established in 2009 (sources: http://www.aymennjawad.org/15484/the-national-ideological-resistance-in-syria, http://jihadintel.meforum.org/group/139/national-ideological-resistance-in-syria). Its flag is seen here: http://jihadintel.meforum.org/pics/symbols/large/369.jpg and also they use this other variant: http://jihadintel.meforum.org/pics/symbols/large/368.jpg. Their armed wing is the Jaysh al-Imam al-Mahdi ('The Imam Mahdi Army')" established in 2003.

The other Syrian Hezbollah militia of relevance here is Al-Ridha Forces (Arabic: قوات الرضا‎‎ Quwat al-Ridha) established in 2013 and named for the eighth Shia Imam Ali al-Ridha. Its members belong to Syria's small Twelver Shia community, mainly from the Homs region. Some sources refer to the group more fully as “Imam Ali al-Ridha
Forces” (sources: http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/quwat-al-ridha-syrian-hezbollah/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quwat_al-Ridha). Its flag is seen here: http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/AsadMuhammadHussein.jpg, as well as here: http://jihadintel.meforum.org/pics/symbols/large/742.jpg (source: http://jihadintel.meforum.org/identifier/742/hezbollah-quwat-al-ridha/).

Besides the aforementioned Syrian Hezbollah groups that have recruited people from Nubl and Zahara', there exist at least two formations that have a similar image but are specifically intended to recruit from these two towns. The older formation is called Junud al-Mahdi ('Soldiers of the Mahdi'), while the more recent formation is called Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja ('Imam Hujja Regiment', also a reference to the Mahdi)."

The Junud al-Mahdi was established (most likely in 2012) (sources: http://www.meforum.org/6204/syrian-hezbollah-militias-of-nubl-zahara and http://www.aymennjawad.org/19110/syrian-hezbollah-militias-of-nubl-and-zahara). Its flag is seen here: http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/12645245_543391509160313_6572775579380921494_n.jpg. This group should not be confused with KBM. This source (http://www.chechensinsyria.com/?p=25129#more-25129) mentions that "Katibat Junud al-Makhdi (KJM) is the result of the merger of Jamaat Bulgar (established in Afghanistan in 1996) and Jaish al-Shomal al-Islami. They come from Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. Theie flag (according to the last source) is seen here: http://i1.wp.com/www.chechensinsyria.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/f8c87932-e205-4a19-916d-0a33f3a1aba1.jpg and http://i0.wp.com/www.chechensinsyria.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/81096750-661f-4af7-b841-079c65fc7971.jpg.

The Fawj al-Imam al-Hujja was established in 2016 (sources: http://www.meforum.org/6204/syrian-hezbollah-militias-of-nubl-zahar and http://www.meforum.org/6307/research-islamic-state-iraq-syria). Its flag is seen here: http://www.meforum.org/pics/large/2979.jpg and http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/12508701_536746363158161_5205856799779819032_n-450x800.jpg (source: http://www.aymennjawad.org/19110/syrian-hezbollah-militias-of-nubl-and-zahara). (Notice: This is the flag attached by Bill).

Hezbollah's involvement in the war is evident, not only as a proxy war against Israel, but also providing its own troops to battle as well as sponsoring and backing spinoff groups such as Liwa Zainebiyoun (Followers of Zainab Brigade (لواء زينبیون, Liwa Zainebiyoun or Liwa Zainabiyoon) established in 2014 (flag: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liwa_Zainebiyoun#/media/File:ZEINAB.jpg) (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liwa_Zainebiyoun) who are trained and funded by the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps; the Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba (HHN) established in 2013 (Arabic: حركة حزب الله النجباء‎‎, "Movement of the Party of God's Nobles") (flag: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harakat_Hezbollah_al-Nujaba#/media/File:Nujabaimage.jpg) (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harakat_Hezbollah_al-Nujaba) who are also trained and funded by the Quds Force, which is part of the IRGC; the Liwa al-Imam al-Mahdi (The Imam Mahdi Brigade) established in 2014 (flag: http://jihadintel.meforum.org/pics/symbols/large/768.jpg, source: http://jihadintel.meforum.org/group/236/liwa-al-imam-al-mahdi and http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/LiwaImamMahdiemblem-450x246.jpg (source: http://www.aymennjawad.org/19041/liwa-al-imam-al-mahdi-a-syrian-hezbollah-formation) and its flag is also seen here: http://www.meforum.org/pics/large/2869.jpg (source: http://www.meforum.org/6134/liwa-imam-mahdi-syrian-hezbollah); and the Liwa al-Sayyida Ruqayya (Sayyida Ruqayya Brigade, named for the Sayyida Ruqayya shrine in Damascus, also known as The Ja'afari Force) established in 2012 (flag: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liwa_Abu_al-Fadhal_al-Abbas#/media/File:Flag_of_Liwa_Abu_al-Fadhal_al-Abbas_(Ceremonial).svg, source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liwa_Abu_al-Fadhal_al-Abbas) and also seen here: http://najaf-news.com/thumbnail.php?file=909371_587420464609995_169991502_n_799003001.jpg&size=article_medium Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezbollah_involvement_in_the_Syrian_Civil_War
Esteban Rivera, 4 October 2016


Liwa al-Imam al-Mahdi 

[Hizbollah (Syria)] image located by Bill Garrison, 13 March 2020

Source: https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/liwa-al-imam-al-mahdi-syrian-hezbollah-formation/

Citation: A flag of the "Liwa al-Imam al-Mahdi" (The Imam Mahdi Brigade/Battalion): The Islamic Resistance in Syria. Note the classic extended arm and arm associated foremost with Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The quotation above the rifle reads: "Indeed the party of God are the ones who overcome" (Qur'an 5:56), a play on 'Hezbollah' (The party of God). c. July 2016
Bill Garrison, 13 March 2020