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The Syria's Tomorrow Movement (Arabic: تيار الغد السوري‎) is a Syrian opposition party founded in March 2016 in Cairo by Ahmad Jarba, a Syrian National Council member. The party is backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and cooperates with the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, although it is not part of the coalition.[1][4] They also cooperate with the Syrian Democratic Council and the associated de facto autonomous administration of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria.[5]

Syria's Tomorrow Movement

تيار الغد السوري
LeaderFouad Humeira[1]
PresidentAhmad Jarba
General Secretary
SpokespersonMonzer Akbik[3]
Founded11 March 2016
HeadquartersCairo, Egypt[4]
Ideology
Democratic Council
1 / 43
Party flag
Flag of Syria 2011, observed.svg
Website
http://www.alghadalsoury.com/

IdeologyEdit

The movement aims to decentralize Syria and implement pluralist democracy. However, it opposes any partition of the state.[2] The party considers Alawites, as with all other ethnic groups in Syria, to be an essential component of the Syrian people and called for greater inclusion of them in the opposition.[1]

Relations with other parties and statesEdit

During the formation of the movement Egyptian and Lebanese officials attended the announcement. Although the party aims to oppose the government of Bashar al-Assad, a Russian embassy official and pro-Assad Syrians attended the official launch of the party, along with the Palestinian official Mohammed Dahlan.[4] A Kurdistan Regional Government representative also attended the meeting.[6]

In early April 2016, the head of Syria's Tomorrow Movement, Fouad Humeira, met with Anas Al-Abdah, the head of the Movement for Justice and Development in Syria and the overall president of the Syrian National Coalition. Al-Abdah expressed the SNC's readiness to cooperate with Syria's Tomorrow Movement.[1]

In September Ahmad Jarba met with the leader of the Movement for a Democratic Society, representing the de facto autonomous administration of the Federation of Northern Syria - Rojava, in order to form an agreement to participate in the governing of northeastern Syria.[7] They issued a joint statement that "the monist powers insisting on one party, one flag and one nation are doomed to fail, and peoples are trying to realize their dreams for a democratic, pluralist and united Syria."[5]

Weeks later, the Local Coordination Committees of Syria reported that a US helicopter transported Ahmed Jarba and Syrian actor Jamal Suliman from Iraqi Kurdistan to the Abu Hajar Airport near the town of Rmelan in northeastern Syria. After they arrived, the two met with the PYD official Eldar Khalil, along with politicians from other Kurdish parties in Syria.[8]

The movement also signed an agreement with the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change.[3]

On 22 July 2017, the Syria's Tomorrow Movement, led by Ahmad Jarba, was involved in negotiations in Egypt between Russia and Jaysh al-Islam to implement a partial ceasefire in East Ghouta.[9]

Military wingEdit

Elite Forces
قوات النخبة
Participant in the Syrian Civil War
Active2016 — ? (much of the unit defected to the SDF in 2017; its current status is unclear)
IdeologyPluralist democracy
Group(s)
Leaders
  • Muhedi Jayila[12]
    (overall military commander)
  • Muhammad Khalid Shakir[13]
    (spokesman and commander)
  • Muhammad Ramadan [14]
    (Saadallah al-Jabiri Battalion commander)
HeadquartersAl-Shaddadah Subdistrict
Area of operations
Size3,500 (self claim, March 2017)[15]
Part of  Syrian Democratic Forces (entire militia officially 2016–17;[19] some sub-units before and after these dates)
Originated asAhrar al-Jazeera[20]
Opponent(s)  Islamic State
Battles and war(s)Syrian Civil War

On 18 April 2016, a unit of Free Syrian Army fighters of al-Shaitat and Shammar, originally from Deir ez-Zor Governorate and the Hasakah Governorate[12] and calling themselves the Elite Forces, declared themselves to be the armed wing of Syria's Tomorrow Movement and stressed Kurdish-Arab unity in Syria. The group claimed to have captured 3 villages from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant 60 kilometres north of Deir ez-Zor. The Syrian Democratic Forces welcomed the presence of the Elite Forces although the group is not officially allied with it. Ahmad Jarba reportedly shipped weapons from Iraqi Kurdistan to Syria in order to arm the faction.[6][21]

On 10 April 2017, a purported spokesman for the Elite Forces claimed that the group was not part of the SDF, would cooperate with both the SDF and Rojava Peshmerga to capture Deir ez-Zor, and rejected federalism.[22] On 15 April, this statement was denied by Muhammad Khalid Shakir, the official spokesman of the Elite Forces. He denied any disagreements between the Elite Forces and the SDF and said that "We are in the framework of the international coalition. The leadership of the coalition manages the operations on the ground. Our troops did not withdraw. We have completed the third phase of the Wrath of Euphrates Operation, and we will participate in all stages until Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor are freed."[23] While the Battle of Raqqa (2017) was still ongoing, the Elite Forces officially left the SDF,[19] though elements of the group continued to cooperate with the SDF.[24]

On 25 August 2017, 800 fighters left the Elite Forces and were fully integrated into the ranks of the SDF and its Deir ez-Zor Military Council. The fighters accused the Elite Forces of corruption. These forces consisted of 7 units of al-Baggara and al-Shaitat tribal fighters stationed in the eastern Raqqa and southern Hasaka countrysides,[25][26] including the Gathering of al-Baggara Youth, led by Yasser al-Dahla.[27] By early 2019, the Elite Forces were still active, but had very few troops left.[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Syrian Coalition: Alawites are Integral Part of Syria's Social Fabric". Etilaf. 5 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Russia returns as international power at the expense of Syria, US manages the conflict instead of ending it: Al-Ghad Al-Soury Movement office director". Daily News Egypt. 29 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e "TAYYAR AL GHAD AL SOURI (SYRIA'S TOMORROW MOVEMENT)". Syria's Tomorrow Movement. 20 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "UAE, Egypt back launch of new Syrian opposition movement". The New Arab. 12 March 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Agreement for the future of Syria". ANF. 11 September 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  6. ^ a b "New rebel force battling ISIS in northeast Syria". Now News. 26 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Syrian tomorrow and self-management stream are calling for a dialogue under the auspices of Syrian Arabic". Syria's Tomorrow. 11 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Ahmed al-Jarba and actor Jamal Suleiman meet leaders (pyd) in Rmelan". Local Coordination Committees of Syria. 28 September 2016.
  9. ^ Bassam Khabieh (23 July 2017). "Syrian warplanes strike near Damascus despite ceasefire: Syrian Observatory". Reuters.
  10. ^ Bahia Mardini (26 March 2017). "Syrian elite forces enter dignity stronghold city Daesh". Elaph.
  11. ^ "The Gathering of Al-Bakkara Youth continues their battle and get closer to the hometown of the Sheikh of Bakkara". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 10 September 2017.
  12. ^ a b ARA News (5 February 2017). "Arabs join Kurds in fight for Raqqa قوات النخبة السورية تشارك في المرحلة الثالثة من معركة الرقة" – via YouTube.
  13. ^ "Syrian Elite Forces: Assad feared moderate opposition". Al-Masryalyoum. 16 December 2016.
  14. ^ Saeed Jawdat (16 March 2017). "Forces (elite Syrian) mourns the death of one of its fighters". All4Syria.
  15. ^ "The Elite Teams are joining the Wrath of Euphrates - ANHA".
  16. ^ "Elite forces withdraw from the fighting fronts with democratic Syrian forces". Al-Etihad Press. 14 April 2017. The source also said that "the leadership of the Elite Forces said earlier that more 3,000 fighters will be involved in the battle to liberate Raqqa, but upon arrival at the Tel Abyad area, it became clear that the number of Elite Forces did not exceed 650 fighters, mostly members of the Shaitat of Deir ez-Zour.
  17. ^ "Kurdish forces surrounded the headquarters of the forces belonging to Ahmed al-Jarba near tenderness". Arabi 21. 13 April 2017. The size of the participation of Elite Forces in the Battle of Raqqa was deliberately exaggerated, adding that "the real number of the Elite Forces does not exceed 200 fighters, but the means of the units of media depicting the number of fighters that exceeds the thousands"
  18. ^ "SDF alliance gains 7 battalions of Syrian Elite Force tribal fighters". Rudaw. 25 August 2017.
  19. ^ a b c Jared Szuba (29 March 2019). "ISIS's 'caliphate' was crushed. Now Syria's Kurd-led alliance faces bigger battles". Defense Post. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  20. ^ "All coming from Liwa Ahrar al-Jazira who fought against IS in Yarubiyah battles in 2013 and disbanded itself". Syrian Rebel Obs. 16 September 2016.
  21. ^ "Kurdish-led SDF attracts more Arab fighters in Syria's Deir ez-Zor amid growing anti-ISIS campaign". ARA News. 24 June 2016.
  22. ^ "A spokesman for the Syrian Elite Forces: We are not part of "intentionally" and are open to the Peshmerga, "Rogge"". Rudaw. 10 April 2017.
  23. ^ "A SPOKESMAN FOR THE ELITE FORCES: CONTINUE OUR EFFORTS UNTIL THE LIBERATION OF RAQQA AND DEIR AL-ZOUR". Syria's Tomorrow Movement. 15 April 2017.
  24. ^ Abdulrahman al-Masri (6 September 2017). "The Decline of the Syrian Elite Forces". Atlantic Council. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  25. ^ Rodi Said (25 August 2017). "U.S.-backed forces to attack Syria's Deir al-Zor soon: SDF official". Reuters.
  26. ^ "Split seven elite battalions and join Syria's democratic forces". Hawar News Agency. 25 August 2017.
  27. ^ "Military police of SDF arrest leader of al-Bakkara Youth Gathering Yasser al-Dahla, the defected of Syrian Elite Forces". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 2 October 2017.