Which are the Jihadist Groups Attacking Afrin and the Forces Behind them?

By | February 6, 2018

While the genocide and the occupation attempts in Efrin continue, taking a closer look at the gangs of Erdogan will allow us to see the truth behind the current attacks more clearly. Even though the reality of genocide is developing as a result of the reactionary and fascist mindset, it is necessary to identify those who take part in these attacks and to understand their relationships with each other. This will help us illustrate the future which the peoples of the region are at risk of being dragged into.

The fascist and massacring Turkish state once again tries to use the wasted radical gangs despite their previous inhuman acts in the Syrian war against the freedom struggle of the peoples and particularly the Kurds. Taking a closer look at these Salafi gangs, including the Islamic State (IS), Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda who were driven to the front line of the battle and are now being led by the Turkish state, will also let us see the sides of the war more vividly.

The occupant Turkish state is attacking Efrin with the help of Salafi groups directly linked to Al-Qaeda. This is happening before the very eyes of the whole world.

Who are these groups?


The Sultan Murat Brigades, who are predominantly Turkmen, are the most common group in the Turkish-occupation territories of Syria. They get aid directly from the Turkish Intelligence Service. The formerly active groups in the eastern part of Aleppo, like Fatih Sultan Mehmet Brigade, Martyr Zeki Turkmeni, Eşbal El Eqide Brigade, Turkmen Martyr Brigade, First Brigade, Second Brigade, Special Mission Brigade, El Yermuk Brigade and dozens of other gangs, have merged into one group and are now called the Sultan Murat Brigade.

Last year, with the participation of brigades and battalions such as Suleiman Shah Brigade, Sıqor El Cebel, El Nixbe and Ehrar El Sherqiye, the total number of gang members reached an estimate of two thousand. They are in possession of light, medium and heavy category arms as well as American Taw weapons (advanced anti-tank system).

In addition to the earlier-mentioned direct aid from the Turkish state, the Sultan Murat Brigade, commanded by the gang leader Fahim Isa, also receives all its directives from the Turkish intelligence Service and is supplied with many tanks by the Turkish state.


Commanded by the gang leader Abu Emsha, the group consists of 300 gangsters who are mostly from Hama. The images of their attacks on Efrin show that they are using light and medium arms and that they are carrying Al-Qaeda symbols.


Although predominantly Turkmen, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Battalion also includes Turkish members. Formerly based in the eastern districts of Aleppo, they eventually moved to the Turkish-state-controlled Shahba. The group, which has also partaken in the occupation-attacks called
“Euphrates Shield”, is led by Mehmud Sileman and consists of approximately 300 gangsters.


The group consists of nearly 300 Turkmen gangsters who are mainly from the rural parts of Aleppo and does not have a specific base. Having been continuously trained by Ankara within the last months, members of the El Ehfad and Samarqand gangs are getting paid 300 USD per month and are totally allegiant to the Turkish state. The Samarqand Brigade had been commanded by the gang leader Ehmed Feyad, until he recently got killed by QSD fighters during Samarqand’s attack on Efrin.


Ahrar Al-Sharqiya mainly includes members of the Al Shihatata tribe who migrated from Dêra Zor. Based in Bab, the 700-member-gang are known for their use of drugs. All their members have been trained by the Turkish government and the gang has strong bonds with Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham
and Ahrar al-Sham.


After many internal conflicts, Faylaq al-Sham mainly consists of the Al-Shamal now, a battalion of 500, which is currently situated in Ezaz and is run by the gang leaders Ebdullah Broz and Ebdullah Xelil. Faylaq Humus, a small group of gangsters from Humus, are also part of Faylaq al-Sham.


Positioned within the Şex Isa battlefront against the Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD), the gang of 300 is led by Yasır Ebu Eli Hirac. Including many foreign-members the gang holds its monthly meetings in Mari, receives aid from the Turkish state and gets its directives from the Turkish Intelligence Service.


After getting forced out of Idlib by Jabhat Al-Nusra the gang later moved to rural northern Aleppo. Commanded by gang leader Ehmed Xeriye the group consists of 1.900 gangsters including many foreigners. Supported by the Turkish state, the group has been trained by Qatar and is
in possession of Taw weapons (advanced anti-tank system). Also getting their orders from the Turkish state the gang has strong connections with the groups Hamza, Sultan Murat and Faylaq al-Sham. Their daily meetings are being held in Kilis.


Formerly known as ‘The 13th Force’ the group changed its name after getting surrounded by IS when it invaded Mari Town which led to the death of their leader. With 500 members the gang holds all its meetings in Turkey and is supported logistically by the Turkish state.


The group consists of 1.000 members from various jihadist groups such as Nour al-Din al-Zenki, Army of Mujahideen, Al-Jabhat Al-Islamiyyah (The Islamic Front), Festeqem Kema Umirt, Jabhat al-Asala wal-Tanmiya, Ahrar al-Sham, Siqor al-Sham and Harakat Hazm. The Al-Shamiyah have strong ties with Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and are in direct coordination with the Turkish intelligence.


The group known as the Syrian wing of Al-Qaeda was formed in late 2011 and is mostly active in the areas of FSA.

After being enlisted as a terrorist organization by the USA in 2012 reactions started piling up against the labeling of the gang as ‘Syrian Opposition’. Their leader Mihemed El Colani has therefore changed the name of the group to Hay’at Al-Tahrir Al-Sham. Still functioning as Al-Qaeda’s arm in Syria the gang continues its military and political collaboration with Turkey before the very eyes of the whole world.

Apart from the names mentioned above there are also some insignificant ones that are only occasionally mentioned in the press such as Siqor Al-Sham, Al-Nikbe, Al-Wekkas Weqas, Em Munteser Billah, Al-Shamal and 9th Special Force.

Carrying Al-Qaeda symbols on their flags all of the above mentioned gangs are being used in Syria by the Turkish state. With the same level of brutality as the IS these groups are also using the same methods in their attacks.

Original Source: ANHA
Translated from Turkish into English: ICAfrinResistance