Syriac Military Council

The Syriac Military Council (Syriac: ܡܘܬܒܐ ܦܘܠܚܝܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ, romanizedMawtbo Fulḥoyo Suryoyo, MFS; Arabic: المجلس العسكري السرياني السوري) is an Assyrian/Syriac military organisation in Syria, part of the Syrian Democratic Forces. The establishment of the organisation was announced on 8 January 2013. According to the Syriac Military Council, the goal of the organisation is to stand up for the national rights of and to protect Assyrians in Syria.[12] It operates mostly in the densely populated Assyrian areas of Al-Hasakah Governorate,[13] and is affiliated to the Syriac Union Party.

Syriac Military Council
ܡܘܬܒܐ ܦܘܠܚܝܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ
Mawtbo Fulhoyo Suryoyo
  • Spokesman (until 2018): Kino Gabriel[1]
  • Spokesman (until 2021): Abgar David[2]
  • Spokesman (from 2021): Matay Hanna[3]
  • Gewargis Hanna[4]
  • Johan Cosar[5]
Dates of operation8 January 2013–Present
AllegianceSyriac Union Party
Group(s)Bethnahrain Women's Protection Forces
Special Forces unit[6]
Active regionsAl-Hasakah Governorate
Raqqa Governorate
Nineveh Governorate, Iraq
Gozarto Region
Size2,000+ (2015)[7]
c. 3,000+ (2017 estimate)[8]
Part ofSyrian Democratic Forces
AlliesKhabour Guards
People's Protection Units
OpponentsIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant
al-Nusra Front
Battles and warsSyrian Civil War

Iraqi Civil War


On 16 December 2013, the Syriac Military Council announced the foundation of a new Military Academy named "Martyr Abgar".[14][15] On December 24, the MFS released photographs showing its members in control of the Assyrian village of Ghardukah, located 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of Qahtaniyah (Tirbespiyê/Qabre Hewore).[16] The village church had been completely destroyed by Jabhat al-Nusra, which occupied the hamlet before being expelled in mid-October during an operation launched by the People's Protection Units (YPG),[17] in which MFS members may have participated. The Syriac Military Council established an all-female military and police unit called the Bethnahrain Women's Protection Forces in September 2015.[18][19][20]



Tell Brak & Tel Hamis operations (2013–14)


The MFS was a part of a YPG-led offensive against Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which began on 26 December 2013 in the Tel Hamis area.[21] The YPG and MFS were unable to hold Tell Brak and failed to capture Tel Hamis, and the offensive was called off in early January. Tell Brak was captured on February 23 in a pre-dawn raid by the YPG and the Syriac Military Council.[22]

June 2014 Syria–Iraq border offensive


MFS, along with YPG forces, participated in an offensive along the Syria-Iraq border. The joint forces managed to drive out Islamic State forces after the jihadist group had taken control of Mosul and most of Nineveh Governorate during the Northern Iraq offensive. The operation led to the full control of Til-Koçar.[23]

August 2014 Sinjar offensive


The MFS, along with YPG forces and other allies, participated in an offensive against the Islamic State in the district of Sinjar in Iraq's province of Nineveh, to rescue 35,000 Yazidis in the Sinjar Mountains after the Sinjar massacre.[24]

Khabur Valley operations (2015–16)

Syriac Military Council fighters near Tell Tamer, February 2015

the Islamic State launched a series of attacks in late February 2015 against Christian villages in the Khabur River valley,[25] with the ultimate goal of capturing the strategic town of Tel Tamer, then under control of the YPG and MFS.[26] In early March 2015, units of the Syriac Military Council and the YPG were involved in heavy clashes in the region, notably around the villages of Tel Nasri and Tel Mghas.[27] On 15 March 2015, the Council reported it was in control of Tel Mghas.[28]

On 11 October 2015, the Syriac Military Council became one of the founding groups in the Syrian Democratic Forces. On 31 October, the SDF launched an offensive southwards along the Khabur River. The SDF, which also includes the YPG, YPJ, MFS, al-Sanadid Forces, the Liberation Brigade, and the Army of Revolutionaries, captured the town of al-Hawl on 13 November. After the capture of al-Hawl, the SDF aimed to capture the town of al-Shaddadi further south.[29]

On 16 February 2016, the Shaddadi offensive was launched by the SDF, which resulted in the SDF capture of the town and hundreds of other villages. During the offensive, ISIL released 42 Assyrian hostages they abducted during the Eastern al-Hasakah offensive in February 2015.[30]

Raqqa (2016–17)


The Syriac Military Council along with the Bethnahrin Women's Protection Forces took part in the SDF's campaign to capture Raqqa from ISIL, declaring that "the fight against terrorism is the fight for existence of our Syriac–Assyrian people and we cannot rest until this fight is won."[31] As of January 2017, 6 MFS fighters were killed during the Raqqa campaign.[32][33]

On 22 January 2017, the European Syriac Union in Brussels requested the United States and its Trump administration to provide more support for the Assyrian and Kurdish components of the Syrian Democratic Forces. The US reportedly favoured the Arab components in the SDF.[34] On 3 April, the MFS and the HSNB reaffirmed the request for more support from the US.[35] In late 2017, the MFS forces under Abjer Abjer participated in the offensive to eliminate the last ISIL strongholds in Deir ez-Zor Governorate.[36]



On 20 January 2018, Kino Gabriel, the spokesman for the Syria Military Council was also made the spokesman for the SDF;[1][37] he was succeeded as spokesman for MFS by Abgar David.[2] The MFS also announced their intention to fight alongside the YPG/YPJ against the Turkish military operation in Afrin in early 2018,[38] sending troops from al-Hasakah Governorate to Afrin. The MFS fighters who were still involved in the offensive against ISIL remained in Deir ez-Zor, however, "because our war with ISIS didn’t end".[2] On 7 February 2018 a smaller contingent of MFS fighters arrived in Afrin.[39]



The MFS fought in the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani, the last phase of the Deir ez-Zor campaign against ISIL.[40]

Syriac-Assyrian Military Council


On 6 July 2019, the MFS and Khabour Guards announced the formation of the Syriac-Assyrian Military Council (Arabic: المجلس العسكري السرياني الاشوري) in order to unify the Assyrian-Syriac military organizations within the Khabour region. The declaration said the military council would work within the political ideals of the Syriac Union Party and the Syrian Democratic Council.[9][41][42]



See also



  1. ^ a b "تكليف "كينو غابرييل" ناطقاً رسمياً باسم قوات سوريا الديمقراطية". Archived from the original on 2018-09-13. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  2. ^ a b c Anna Varfolomeeva (31 January 2018). "Syriac Military Council plans imminent deployment to defend "our democratic project" in Efrin". The Defense Post. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Ten years of Syriac Military Council. MFS spokesman Matay Hanna says fight against terrorism and struggle for self-determination and full rights for Syriacs and all peoples of Syria will continue". 8 January 2023.
  4. ^ "20 Minuten - Schweizer Christen kämpfen gegen den IS - News". 20 Minuten. 24 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Bürgerkrieg in Syrien: Schweizer Scharfschütze". ZEIT ONLINE. 24 October 2014.
  6. ^ "#Syriac Military Council, MFS also is sending special forces as reinforcements with the SDF amid ongoing hard battle against ISIS in the various fronts in the Deir ez Zor region for the total liberation of the area and safety of the population with @coalition &". October 29, 2018.
  7. ^ "Syrien: Christen lassen sich von IS nicht vertreiben". Die Welt. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  8. ^ Rashid (2018), p. 53.
  9. ^ a b MFS Media Center (7 July 2019). "بيان تأسيس المجلس العسكري السرياني الاشوري ، إتحاد MFS و MNK". Youtube. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Süryani Askeri Meclisi Sözcüsü: Güçlerimiz halkının büyük desteği ile kuruldu - Hawarnews Türkçe Sayfası".
  11. ^ Johannes de Jong (26 June 2016). "Brave Local Christians Fighting ISIS Need Guns and Bullets". The Stream. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  12. ^ Khalel, Sheren; Vickery, Matthew (24 February 2015). "Syria's Christians Fight Back". Foreign Policy Magazine.
  13. ^ "Syriacs establish military council in Syria". Hürriyet Daily News. 2 February 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  14. ^ "The Academy Martyr Abgar (Sohdo Abgar) of Syriac Military Council was founded!". YouTube. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Welcome to Facebook - Log In, Sign Up or Learn More". Facebook.
  16. ^ "Martha Vergili-Hobil on Twitter: "Mor Malke in Gharduka is destroyed by El-Nusra. El-Nusra has fled & the village is now controlled by the MFS #syriac". Twitter.
  17. ^ "Sher Tirbesipi" (in Kurdish). Rûdaw Kurdish. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  18. ^ "Bethnahrin Women Protection Forces Founded against ISIS".
  19. ^ "Assyrian Female Fighters Joined Battlefronts Against ISIS in Northeastern Syria".
  20. ^ "The revolutionaries of Bethnahrin: cooperation between Christians and Kurds - Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal".
  21. ^ "Interview with Christian SMC fighters and local Sunni Arabs who fights along YPG and YPJ". YouTube. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  22. ^ "Syrian Kurds take town from Islamists: watchdog". Reuters. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  23. ^ "أراء مقاتلي وحدات حماية الشعب في بلدة ربيعة - YouTube". YouTube. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  24. ^ "Video: YPG and MFS arrived in Shingal Mountains Sinjar to protect the refugees who fled from Shingal and other Towns". Frequency. Archived from the original on 2014-08-09.
  25. ^ "Assyrian Christian leaders call for help against renewed ISIS offensive in Hassakeh". Christian Today. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  26. ^ "Christian Area in Northeast Syria Said to Be Under Heavy ISIS Assault". 7 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  27. ^ "ISIS Crosses River in New Attacks on Assyrian Villages in Syria". 7 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  28. ^ "MFS and YPG liberated the church [of Tel Mghas] and are present there now". 15 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  29. ^ Siber Haji and Qehreman Miste (21 November 2015). "War on ISIS unites Syrian Kurds, Arabs and Christians". ARA News. Archived from the original on 10 July 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  30. ^ Qehreman Miste (23 February 2016). "ISIS releases 42 Christian hostages northeast Syria". ARA News. Archived from the original on 27 February 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  31. ^ "SDF marching on Raqqa is mix of ethnicities, religions, genders". Rudaw. 7 November 2016.
  32. ^ "FIVE FIGHTERS OF THE SYRIAC MILITARY COUNCIL HAVE FALLEN AS MARTYRS IN RAQQA". Syriac International News Agency. 19 January 2017.
  33. ^ "Kurds confirm death of third US volunteer as part of Raqqa campaign". ARA News. 27 January 2017. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  35. ^ "MFS: WE ASK THE US FOR EQUAL SUPPORT AS IS GIVEN TO THE ARABS". Syriac Military Council. 3 April 2017.
  36. ^ "Syriac commander: Our forces effectively participate in al-Jazeera Tempest". Hawar News Agency. 30 November 2017. Archived from the original on 1 February 2018.
  37. ^ "We are honored to share new information of MFS Spokesperson Kino Gabriel is newly appointed as Syrian Democratic Forces, SDF Spokesperson. We congratulate him and wish him all success in this new duty". January 20, 2018.
  38. ^ Leith Aboufadel (29 January 2018). "Breaking: Assyrian militia sends reinforcements to defend Afrin". al-Masdar News (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 31 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  39. ^ "#Breaking: As we have announced previously, fighters of #Syriac Military Council, #MFS reached their front and position in the ongoing #Afrin battle to the support of SDF forces against Turkish & allies attacks and protect population of the area.". February 7, 2018.
  40. ^ 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.
  41. ^ SyriacMilitaryMFS (8 July 2019). "English statement of the formation of Syriac-Assyrian Military Council in Khabour region by Khabour Guards and Syriac Military Council, MFS". Twitter. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  42. ^ "Süryani Askeri Meclisi Sözcüsü: Güçlerimiz halkının büyük desteği ile kuruldu - Hawarnews Türkçe Sayfası".
  43. ^ Touzeau, Olivier. "Syriac Military Council (Syria)". FOTW. CRW Flags. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  44. ^ "Syriac flags adorn the city of Hasaka". Syriac Military Council. 20 March 2017.

Works cited