Liwa Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas

Liwa Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas
لواء أبو الفضل العباس
Participant in the Iraqi insurgency and Syrian Civil War

New logo of the brigade.

Former SSI of the brigade.

Ceremonial flag used by the brigade.
Active 2012 – present
Ideology Shia Islamism
Leaders Abu Ajeeb (Secretary General)
Abu Hajar (Brigade Commander)  (WIA)[1]
Area of operations

Syria Syria

Strength 10,000+[2]
Allies Syrian Armed Forces
National Defense Force
Kata'ib Hezbollah[2]
Iraq Iraqi Armed Forces[3]
Opponents Syria Free Syrian Army
Islamic Front (formerly)
Al-Nusra Front (formerly)
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Battles and wars

The Brigade of Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas(Arabic:لواء أبو الفضل العباس, Liwa Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas), also known as the al-Abbas brigade (Arabic:كتائب العباس, Kata'ib al-Abbas), is a pro-government Twelver Shia Muslim militant group operating throughout Syria. It is named after the nickname of Al-Abbas ibn Ali, son of Imam Ali.

The group was formed in late 2012 to defend the Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque and other Shia holy sites in Syria.[7] It rose in prominence in reaction to the desecration of various shrines, heritage sites, and places of worship by rebels during the Syrian civil war and subsequently collaborated with the Syrian Army. Its fighters include native Shia Damascenes, Damascus-based Iraqi Shia refugees, Iraqi Shia volunteers, and other foreign Shia volunteers. Iraqis form its primary constituent.[8][6] It fights primarily around Damascus, but has fought in Aleppo as well.[9]

In May and June 2013, Reuters reported a split had developed within the brigade brigade over finances and leadership which erupted into a gunbattle. Many non-Syrian members subsequently formed a different brigade.[10]

On 19 May 2014, fighters from the Nour al-Din al-Zanki Brigade claimed to have taken over the al-Abbas Brigade's regional headquarters in Aleppo.[11]

As ISIS made significant gains in Iraq in mid 2014, its Iraqi members were forced to return home to defend the faltering Shi'ite led government in Baghdad.[12]

See also


  1. ZAYNAB’S GUARDIANS: THE EMERGENCE OF SHI`A MILITIAS IN SYRIA Christopher Anzalone, Combating Terrorism Center, July 23, 2013
  2. 1 2 3 "Syrian war widens Sunni-Shia schism as foreign jihadis join fight for shrines". The Guardian. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  3. 1 2 "Shia militia arrive to defend shrines". CNN. 2 July 2014.
  4. Phillip Smyth (8 March 2016). "How Iran Is Building Its Syrian Hezbollah". The Washington Institute. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  5. "NGO: Fierce clashes in Damascus district". AFP. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  6. 1 2 phillsmyth (18 June 2014). "Hizballah Cavalcade: From Najaf to Damascus and Onto Baghdad: Iraq's Liwa Abu Fadl al-Abbas". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  7. "Shi'ite fighters rally to defend Damascus shrine". 3 March 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2016 via Reuters.
  8. "Iran's Foreign Legion: The Role of Iraqi Shiite Militias in Syria". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  9. Fadel, Leith (26 October 2015). "More Iraqi Paramilitary Arrive in Aleppo Under Orders from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  10. "Iraqi Shi'ites flock to Assad's side as sectarian split widens". Reuters. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  11. #حركة_نور_الدين_الزنكي -- السيطرة على غرفة عمليات ابو الفضل العباس في حي الراشدين. YouTube. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  12. "Hezbollah displacing Iraqi Shiite fighters in Syria". Ya Libnan. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
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