Hazzm Movement

The Hazzm Movement (Arabic: حركة حزم, Ḥarakat Ḥazzm, meaning Movement of Steadfastness[16]) was an alliance of Syrian rebel groups affiliated with the Free Syrian Army in northwestern Syria that existed from 25 January 2014[17] until 1 March 2015, when many of them dissolved into the Levant Front. Some other members joined the Army of Revolutionaries.

Hazzm Movement
حركة حزم
Ḥarakat Ḥazzm
Dates of operation25 January 2014 – 1 March 2015
HeadquartersAtarib, Aleppo Governorate, Syria
Active regions
Size400[5] (February 2015)
Part of
Allies United States
Syrian Revolutionaries Front
Ahrar al-Sham[9]
Syrian National Coalition
Opponents Syria
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant[10]
Al-Nusra Front[7]
Jund al-Aqsa
Levant Front (Since 2015)[11]
Battles and warsSyrian Civil War
Succeeded by
* Army of Mujahideen (some members)


A convoy of Hazzm Movement fighters in the town of Mare' on 18 August 2014.

In late 2013 the former Supreme Military Council chief of staff Salim Idris planned to form the Hazzm Movement in response him being sacked as the chief of staff.[2] The Hazzm Movement was established on 25 January 2014 when 12 small rebel factions merged. Several of the factions had been part of the Farouq Brigades.[18] The groups that became the Army of Mujahedeen were originally going to join the Hazzm Movement.[19] The previous incarnation of the group, called Harakat Zaman Mohamed (The movement of the time of Muhammad), was supported by the Muslim Brotherhood of Syria.[19]

The group was supplied with BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles[18] in a covert CIA program launched in 2014. Scores of the group's fighters also received U.S. military training in Qatar under the same program.[20]

In October 2014, the al-Nusra Front began attacking positions of the Hazzm Movement in the Idlib Governorate, overrunning bases and seizing weapon stores, due to its perceived closeness to the United States.[20] Following the loss of men and weapons to Nusra, the Idlib branch of Hazzm stopped receiving funds from the CIA in December 2014, funds to the Aleppo branch continued.[21] In January 2015, al-Nusra attacked Hazzm Movement positions in the Aleppo Governorate. The Hazzm Movement reacted by joining the Levant Front, a large alliance of prominent Aleppo-based Islamist rebel groups; the alliance urged al Nusra to resolve its dispute with the Hazzm Movement by negotiating with the Levant Front.[22]

On 3 May 2015, some of the former members of the northern branches of the Hazzm Movement, including the Atarib Martyrs Brigade, and the Syrian Revolutionaries Front along with Jabhat al-Akrad, the Dawn of Freedom Brigades main component group the Northern Sun Battalion (making the Dawn of Freedom Brigades defunct in the process) and smaller FSA groups formed the Army of Revolutionaries.[23][24] Many of the northern members of the Syrian Revolutionaries Front and Hazzm Movement also joined the Levant Front.

During the Turkish military intervention in Syria which started in late August 2016, some former members of the Syrian Revolutionaries Front and the Hazzm Movement in exile from Turkey crossed into Syria through Jarabulus.[25]

In late December 2016, the Hazzm Movement, the SRF, and the Ansar Brigades in exile reportedly declared their intentions to return to Syria.[26][27]

Component groups and structureEdit

The Hazzm Movement had a northern division, led by Murshid al-Khalid (Abu Mutasim), and a southern division led by Mohammed al-Dahik (Abu Hatem). The Secretary-General was Bilal Atar (Abu Abd al-Sham).[18] Abdullah Awda (Abu Zeid) was in charge of military operations[16] and Hamza Shamali (Abu Hashem) in charge of political affairs.[18]

The 12 groups that merged on 25 January 2014 to form the Hazzm Movement were:

  • Atarib Martyrs Brigade—reportedly the largest faction of the Hazzm Movement before its dissolution, based in Atarib
  • 9th Special Forces Division of Aleppo[19]
  • Farouq of the North Battalion
  • Ayman of God Brigade
  • Abi Harith Battalion - Farouq Hama
  • Free Salamiya Battalion - Farouq Hama
  • Martyr Abdul Ghaffar Hamish Battalion
  • Martyr Abdullahi Bukar Battalion
  • Salt of the Right Company
  • Abu Assad al-Nimr Battalion[18]

Several other groups joined the Hazzm Movement at a later date.

9th Special Forces Division of AleppoEdit

The 9th Special Forces Division of Aleppo was a Syrian rebel group formerly affiliated with the Syria Revolutionaries Front[19] and joined the Hazm Movement in January 2014.[28] It was headed by Murshid al-Khaled (nom de guerre: Abu Mutasim).[29]

Furthermore, the group was further composed of several additional subgroups before the merger:[28]

  • 1st Infantry Brigade
  • 1st Armoured Brigade
  • 60th Infantry Brigade
  • Rocket Artillery Regiment
  • Shahba Shield Brigade
  • Ahbab Allah Brigade

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Leaders and advocates are demanding the release of the commander of the "movement of packages" from "victory" prisons". Enab Baladi. 21 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b "The rise and fall of Syria's Hazzm rebel group". The New Arab. 3 March 2015.
  3. ^ Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (1 October 2020). "Factcheck: Was 'Sayf Abu Bakr' an Islamic State Commander?". Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  4. ^ "Rebels Worth Supporting: Syria's Harakat Hazm". Washington Institute for Near East Policy. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  5. ^ "U.S. Syria strategy falters with collapse of rebel group". Reuters. 5 March 2015.
  6. ^ "The new face of the Syrian rebellion". The Arab Chronicle. 5 March 2014. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Western-backed rebels join Aleppo alliance - Syria monitor". Reuters. 31 January 2015.
  8. ^ Lund, Aron (1 December 2014). "The Revolutionary Command Council: Rebel unity in Syria?". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  9. ^ Reuters
  10. ^ "Syria Update: January 6-12, 2015". Institute for the Study of War. 13 January 2015.
  11. ^ "The rise and fall of Syria's Hazzm rebel group". 3 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Syrian army enters Homs neighbourhoods". Al Jazeera English. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  13. ^ "Reinforcements rush to Aleppo as battles rage". The Daily Star. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  14. ^ "Al-Qaeda attacks Syrian rebels in Aleppo". ARA News. 31 January 2015.
  15. ^ "U.S.-backed Syria rebel group dissolves itself after losses". Reuters Media. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  16. ^ a b "Syrian rebels who received first U.S. missiles of war see shipment as 'an important first step'". Washington Post. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  17. ^ Lister, Charles (9 April 2014). "Syrian insurgents acquire TOW missiles". Jane's Defence Weekly. 51 (20). Archived from the original on 12 April 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  18. ^ a b c d e Lister, Charles (9 June 2014). "American anti-tank weapons appear in Syrian rebel hands". Huffington Post (Updated ed.). Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  19. ^ a b c d "Harakat Hazm: America's new favorite jihadist group". Al Akhbar. 25 May 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  20. ^ a b "U.S.-backed Syria rebels routed by fighters linked to al-Qaeda". Washington Post. 2 November 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  21. ^ "Rebels in northern Syria say U.S. has stopped paying them". McClatchy Newspapers. 9 December 2014. Archived from the original on 9 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015. Those cut off include a larger group of Hazm fighters whom Nusra ousted from their bases in the Zawyah mountains in Idlib province in October
  22. ^ "Western-backed rebels join Aleppo alliance - Syria monitor". Reuters. 31 January 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  23. ^ "#Syria: Seven FSA groups (incl. Jabhat Akrad, Shams Shamal & Homs Revolutionary Union) form "The Revolutionary Army"". Twitter.
  24. ^ "#SRO - EXCLUSIVE - Former Hazzm and #SRF forces allied with kurds and some #FSA small units to create Jaysh al-Thuwar (in 4 governorates)". Twitter.
  25. ^ "Threatens to exit "Arab factions" him: repercussions Turkish intervention shake Syria's alliance forces of democracy east of the Euphrates". Al-Quds al-Arabi. 3 September 2016.
  26. ^ "Four factions that ended the "open-Sham" intend to return to the Syrian arena". Enab Baladi. 16 December 2016.
  27. ^ "Syrian Rebellion Obs on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-12-26.
  28. ^ a b "FSA - Ninth Division". Syrian Rebel Obs.
  29. ^ "The Syria Revolutionaries' Front". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2014.

External linksEdit