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The Forces of Martyr Ahmad al-Abdo is a Syrian rebel group previously affiliated with the Free Syrian Army's Southern Front. The group was named after either Ahmad al-Abdo al-Saeed, a Syrian civilian who was killed in the early 2011 protests, or first lieutenant Ahmad al-Abdo, a rebel commander who was killed in action during the war.[5] The group received support from the Friends of Syria Group.[1]

Forces of Martyr Ahmad al-Abdo
قوات الشهيد أحمد العبدو
Participant in the Syrian civil war
Logo of the Forces of Martyr Ahmad al-Abdo.jpg
ActiveAugust 2013–present
Group(s)Syrian Desert Brigade[1]
LeadersColonel Bakur Salim al-Salim [2]
Captain Ahmed Tamer[3]
Area of operations
Size2,500 (2017, self-claim)[1]
Part ofFree Syrian Army[2]
Allies
Opponent(s)
Battles and war(s)Syrian Civil War
Websitehttp://www.qalamon.com/

Structure and equipmentEdit

As of 2017, the group claimed to have 2,000 fighters, including 500 defected soldiers and 30 officers from the Syrian Armed Forces. The head of the group is the "joint command council", led by Captain Ahmed Tamer.[1]

Fighters in the group typically operate in groups of 10. Its main equipment are Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota Hilux gun trucks mounted with various weaponry including autocannons, heavy machine guns, recoilless rifles, and multiple rocket launchers. It also operate at least 1 T-62 and 2 T-55s.[5]

The group received BGM-71 TOW missiles as one of the first rebel groups to do so in May 2014 and is also in possession of Chinese HJ-8 and Russian 9M133 Kornet anti-tank missiles paid by Qatar and supplied from Sudan.[2]

HistoryEdit

The group was involved in the capture of the Brigade 559 and the siege of Dumayr airbase. It primarily operates in the eastern Qalamoun Mountains and northern Damascus countryside regions.[2] In March 2016 the group and the US-backed New Syrian Army captured the al-Tanf border crossing from ISIL in a cross-border raid.[5]

On 9 June 2016, the group's leader, Colonel Bakour Salim, who was also the commander of the Damascus Military Council from 2012 to 2013, died from an ISIL suicide bombing after the group advanced and captured several ISIL positions.[6] Later in June, the FMAA and the NSA were hit by airstrikes from 2 Russian Sukhoi Su-34s and participated in the failed 2016 Abu Kamal offensive against ISIL.[5]

A new commander, Captain Ahmed Tamer, was appointed on 30 August 2016 after the previous commander was dismissed for alleged corruption.[3]

Since 2016, the opposition local council of towns in the eastern Qalamoun Mountains have negotiated a ceasefire agreement with Syrian government forces. As a result, the group abided by it and focused their fighting on ISIL. As part of the Southern Front, the group also abided by a ceasefire in effect since the January 2017 Astana talks.[1] In an interview with the group's commander in February 2017, he announced that the group will support an international attempt at a ceasefire in Syria.[7]

In April 2018, along with other rebel groups in the eastern Qalamoun, fighters of the Forces of Martyr Ahmad al-Abdo were evacuated to the Turkish-occupied zone in the northern Aleppo Governorate.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Youssef Sadaki (1 March 2017). "FMAA: 'Our Priority Is to Establish Our Free Future State'". Atlantic Council.
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Moderate Rebels: A Complete and Growing List of Vetted Groups". Democratic Revolution, Syrian Style. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b "FSA Martyr Ahmad Abdo Forces dismissed their commander for corruption". Yalla Souriya. 31 August 2016.
  4. ^ "FSA Launches a New Battle against IS Group in the Desert of #Syrian".
  5. ^ a b c d "The Forces of the Martyrs Ahmad al-Abdo". History Blog. 12 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Top FSA leader killed by ISIS". Now News. 9 June 2016.
  7. ^ Ahmad Zakaryya (10 February 2017). "Ahmad Al-Abdo Forces: "We Refuse Having Safe Zones If The Intent Is To Divide Syria"". RFS Media Office.