The jihadist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham graduated several new recruits in their special forces division based inside the Houla Plains of northern Homs recently.
Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya (‘Islamic Movement of the Free Men of the Levant‘), is a coalition of multiple Islamist and Salafist units that coalesced into a single brigade and later a division in order to fight against the Syrian Government led by Bashar al-Assad during the Syrian Civil War.
Ahrar al-Sham defines itself as :
The Islamic Movement of the Free Men of the Levant is an Islamist, reformist, innovative and comprehensive movement. It is integrated with the Islamic Front and is a comprehensive and Islamic military, political and social formation. It aims to completely overthrow the Assad regime in Syria and build an Islamic state whose only sovereign, reference, rule, direction, and individual, societal and nationwide unifier is Allah Almighty’s Sharia (law).
Ahrar al-Sham is one of the best-armed and most powerful rebel factions active in the Syrian Civil War. It progressed from the use of improvised explosive devices and small-arms ambushes in early 2012 to assume a lead role in large-scale sustained assaults on multiple fronts by 2013.
Discussions about foreign support in the media often center on the weapons that foreign powers provide to their proxies. For Ahrar the amount of financial aid it got from abroad might be the very reason it became so powerful.
Donations from supporters abroad were important for Ahrar’s growth. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey have been actively supporting Ahrar al-Sham. A statement issued by Ahrar al-Sham thanked Turkey and Qatar for their help.