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Southern Front
الجبهة الجنوبية
Participant in the Syrian Civil War
300px
The Syrian Independence flag flanked by an AK-47 on each side
Active 14 February 2014[1] – present
Ideology Secularism[2][3]
Syrian nationalism[4][5]
Anti-authoritarianism[5]
Constitutionalism[5]
Leaders Bashar al-Zoubi[6]
(Overall Leader)
Brig. Gen. Ziad Fahd[7]
(Deputy Chief of Staff)
Lt. Col. Majid al-Sayid Ahmed
(Head of the Operations Department)
Colonel Saber Jafar
(Member of the Military Council)[8]
Colonel Bakur Salim al-Salim
(Member of the Military Council)[8]
Colonel Khaled al-Nabulsi
(Member of the Military Council)[8]
Major Hassam Ibrahim
(Member of the Military Council)[8]
Captain Said Nakresh
(Member of the Military Council)[8]
Ahmad al-Awdesh
(Member of the Military Council)[8]
Samer al-Haboush
(Member of the Military Council)[8]
Headquarters Amman[9]
Area of
operations
Daraa Governorate[10]
Quneitra Governorate[10]
As Suwayda Governorate[10]
Damascus[10]
Strength 35,000 (May 2015)[8]
Part of Free Syrian Army
Allies
Opponents
  • Syrian Armed Forces
  • National Defense Force
  • al-Nusra Front[11]
  • Battles/wars

    Syrian Civil War

    The Southern Front is a Syrian rebel coalition consisting of 58 Syrian opposition factions[14] affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, with the Southern Front commanding the loyalty of 70% of active operations rooms in southern Syria[15] and holding control of 70% of Daraa Governorate alone.[16] The Southern Front was established on 14 February 2014 in southern Syria[1] and receives support from the Military Operations Center (MOC) based in Amman, Jordan.[17] Since its formation, rebels said, field operation rooms have been added inside Syria to improve coordination between units.[9] The coalition is "described by Western officials as the best organized of the mainstream opposition".[18]

    History[]

    On 13 November 2014, it was reported that 15 factions of the Southern Front drew up a political program as an alternative to the exile-led opposition in Turkey, in which they are planning to turn the Southern Front into a civilian security force.[18] At the same time a provincial council was established. This political program is intended to have "broad appeal among Syrian civilians and to undercut support for more extreme interpretations of Islam that has been spreading".[17]

    Around that time, almost 40 small rebel groups joined the First Corps in the south.[17]

    On 27 December 2014, the 18 March Division, Yarmouk Army, Fallujah of Houran Brigade and Lions of Sunna Brigade merged under the command structure of the Hawks of the South coalition to strengthen the Southern Front.[19]

    On 1 January 2015, the Hamza Division, Syria Revolutionaries Front (SRF) southern command and 1st Artillery Regiment merged under the command structure of the First Army.[20]

    On 25 March 2015, the Southern Front captured the town of Bosra after a 3-day long battle.[21]

    On 1 April 2015, the Southern Front captured the Nasib border crossing, the last government-controlled border crossing into Jordan.[22]

    On 15 May 2015, the Southern Front unified under one military council, chaired by 7 senior members.[8] On 1 June 2015, the Southern Front paraded for the graduation of one thousand new members.[23]

    After the Southern Front's strategic victory at the capture of Brigade 52 in early June 2015, an analyst from the Institute for Strategic Studies stated that "The Southern Front is now showing itself as an increasingly effective buffer against Islamist rebels as well as an effective means for applying pressure on the Assad regime", and Southern Front spokesman Issam al-Reis stated that “We have most of Daraa liberated, our lines of defense behind us are solid, and now we can start the operation toward Damascus and the highway leading to it”.[16]

    On 17 June 2015, the Southern Front launched an offensive to take all of Quneitra province.[24]

    On 25 June 2015, the Southern Front announced "Southern Storm", the battle to capture Daraa city where the Syrian Revolution began in 2012.[25]

    Battles[]

    Date Battle Place Against Result
    3 February – 27 May 2014 Daraa offensive (February–May 2014) Daraa Governorate,
    Quneitra Governorate
     Syria
    Hezbollah
    indecisive
    27 August – 23 September 2014 2014 Quneitra offensive Quneitra Governorate,
    Daraa Governorate
     Syria Green tickY victory
    3 – 6 October 2014 Daraa offensive (October 2014) Daraa Governorate  Syria Green tickY victory
    1 November – 15 December 2014 Battle of Al-Shaykh Maskin Daraa Governorate  Syria
    Hezbollah
    Green tickY victory
    7 February – 13 March 2015 2015 Southern Syria offensive Daraa Governorate,
    Rif Dimashq Governorate,
    Quneitra Governorate
     Syria
    Hezbollah
    Iranian IRGC
    Liwa Fatemiyoun
    stalemate
    21 – 25 March 2015 Battle of Bosra (2015) Daraa Governorate  Syria
    Hezbollah
    Iranian IRGC
    Green tickY victory
    1 April 2015 Battle of Nasib Border Crossing Daraa Governorate  Syria Green tickY victory
    8 June 2015 Brigade 52 offensive Daraa Governorate  Syria Green tickY victory
    10 June 2015 Battle of al-Thula airbase Suwayda Governorate  Syria Red XN defeat
    17 June 2015 Quneitra offensive (2015) Quneitra Governorate  Syria stalemate
    25 June 2015 Battle of Daraa City Daraa Governorate  Syria Red XN ongoing

    Member groups[]

    See also[]

    References[]

    1. 1.0 1.1 "Moderate Rebel Groups Unite in Southern Syria". Syrian Observer. 14 February 2014. http://www.syrianobserver.com/News/News/Moderate+Rebel+Groups+Unite+in+Southern+Syria. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
    2. Rand, Dafna H.; Heras, Nicholas (29 December 2014). "The South Will Rise Again". Foreign Policy. http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/12/29/the-south-will-rise-again-syria-deraa-southern-front/. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
    3. Williams, Sara Elizabeth (26 May 2014). "A rebel rift is brewing on Syria's southern front". Vice News. https://news.vice.com/article/a-rebel-rift-is-brewing-on-syrias-southern-front. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
    4. Sayigh, Yezid (29 May 2015). "Coming Challenges for Syria's Rebels". Carnegie Middle East Center. http://carnegie-mec.org/2015/05/29/coming-challenges-for-syria-s-rebels/i96k. Retrieved 30 May 2015. "nationalist rebels in the south" 
    5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "The Free Syrian Army – Southern Front: Transitional Phase". Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office. 15 December 2014. http://rfsmediaoffice.com/en/the-free-syrian-army-southern-front-transitional-phase/. Retrieved 30 May 2015. "It is imperative that all nationalist forces commit to a course of action during the period of transition from authoritarianism that will fulfil the popular will [...] The current constitution will be immediately suspended and replaced by the original constitution of 1950 as an interim constitution until the drafting of a permanent constitution for the country that shall be approved by a popular referendum." 
    6. "The Moderate Rebels: A Complete and Growing List of Vetted Groups". الثورة الديمقراطية، الطراز السوري Democratic Revolution, Syrian Style. 21 October 2014. http://notgeorgesabra.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/the-moderate-rebels-a-complete-and-growing-list-of-vetted-groups/. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
    7. "SELECTED SUPREME MILITARY COMMAND MEMBERS". Institute for the Study of War. http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Selected-Supreme-Military-Command-Members_0.pdf. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
    8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 Syrian Rebellion Obs [Syria_Rebel_Obs] (15 May 2015). "#SRO – Exclusive – As announced yesterday by #SRO, #FSA Southern Front has now a one and official Military Council". https://twitter.com/Syria_Rebel_Obs/status/599257172317499392/photo/1. 
    9. 9.0 9.1 Rosenthal, Max J. (15 May 2014). "Syrian Rebels Say Southern Front Strategy Hasn't Hurt Assad Yet". The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/15/syria-rebels-southern-front_n_5330301.html. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
    10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Aron Lund (21 March 2014). "Does the "Southern Front" Exist?". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. http://carnegieendowment.org/syriaincrisis/?fa=55054. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
    11. Perry, Tom (14 April 2015). "Southern Syria rebels set collision course with al Qaeda". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0N511N20150414?irpc=932. Retrieved 14 April 2015. "We must announce our clear position: neither the Nusra Front or anything else with this ideology represents us," said Bashar al-Zoubi, head of a rebel group called the Yarmouk Army, who sent the statement to Reuters." 
    12. "Syria dissident groups still not united". As-Safir. 5 March 2015. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2015/03/syria-southern-front-differences.html. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
    13. "Jabhat al-Nusra looks for battlefield breakout". Al Monitor. 29 March 2015. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2015/03/syria-jabhat-nusra-bosra-tikrit-fronts-fighting-offensives.html#. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
    14. "Syria war: Southern rebels see US as key to success". BBC. 10 December 2014. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-30374581. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
    15. "Syria Countrywide Conflict Report No. 5" (PDF). The Carter Center. February 2015. p. 23. http://www.cartercenter.org/resources/pdfs/peace/conflict_resolution/syria-conflict/NationwideUpdate-Feb-28-2015.pdf. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
    16. 16.0 16.1 Naylor, Hugh (10 June 2015). "Moderate rebels take key southern base in Syria, dealing blow to Assad". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/moderate-rebels-take-key-southern-base-in-syria-dealing-blow-to-assad/2015/06/09/9d6ff9c2-0ea5-11e5-a0fe-dccfea4653ee_story.html. Retrieved 10 June 2015. "Emile Hokayem, a Middle East analyst at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, said the fall of Brigade 52 weakens government defenses around the capital [...] “The Southern Front is now showing itself as an increasingly effective buffer against Islamist rebels as well as an effective means for applying pressure on the Assad regime,” Hokayem said. The rebels control about 70 percent of Daraa and are poised to seize the provincial capital from Assad’s forces, he said." 
    17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Maayeh, Suha; Sands, Phil (25 November 2014). "Syria's southern rebels draw up new game plan". The National. http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/syrias-southern-rebels-draw-up-new-game-plan#page1. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
    18. 18.0 18.1 Perry, Tom (30 May 2015). "Syria rebels in south emerge as West's last hope as moderates crushed elsewhere". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/13/us-mideast-crisis-syria-rebels-idUSKCN0IX11I20141113. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
    19. 19.0 19.1 ""تحالف صقور الجنوب" .. توحد جديد في درعا". Shaam News. 27 December 2014. http://www.shaam.org/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1/%D8%A3%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9/%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81-%D8%B5%D9%82%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D9%86%D9%88%D8%A8-%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%AD%D8%AF-%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%AF-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%B9%D8%A7.html. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
    20. 20.0 20.1 "Three important Free Syrian Army factions decided, at this 2015 new year, to create the First Army". SRO. 1 January 2015. https://www.facebook.com/SyrianRebellionObservatory/photos/a.1648239072069399.1073741828.1648217982071508/1683108965249076/?type=1&theater. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
    21. "Mainstream Syrian rebels seize historic town in south: monitor". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/25/us-mideast-crisis-syria-town-idUSKBN0ML0O320150325. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
    22. "ISIS Storms Damascus Suburb of Yarmouk: monitor". dailystar. https://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Apr-02/293055-isis-storms-damascus-suburbof-yarmouk.ashx. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
    23. "ألف مقاتل يرفدون الجنوبية الجبهة" (in ar). Daraa, Syria: SMART News Agency. 1 June 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2L30KRobPo. 
    24. "Syrian rebels say launch offensive in southern Syria". 17 June 2015. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0OX0JO20150617?irpc=932. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
    25. "Syrian rebels launch attack to take Southern city of Daraa". St. Louis Post Dispatch. 25 June 2015. http://www.stltoday.com/news/world/syrian-rebels-launch-attack-to-take-southern-city-of-daraa/article_8f119c47-d4bc-59ae-b5fa-7f5050d2325f.html. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
    26. "FSA Southern Front's Political Program for Post-Assad Syria". Democratic Revolution, Syrian Style. 6 December 2014. http://notgeorgesabra.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/fsa-southern-fronts-political-program-for-post-assad-syria/. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
    27. Infographic: All major factions within the FSA's Southern Front

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