Liwa Assad Allah al-Ghalib fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham
|Liwa Assad Allah al-Ghalib fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham|
|Participant in the Syrian Civil War|
Emblem of Liwa Assad Allah al-Ghalib
|Active||2013 – present|
|Leaders||Secretary-General Sheikh Abdallah al-Shaibani|
|Area of operations||Iraq|
|Part of||Liwa Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas network|
Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada
Liwa al-Imam al-Hussein
Free Syrian Army|
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
|Battles and wars|
The Conquering Lion of God Forces in Iraq and Syria (Arabic: Liwa Assad Allah al-Ghalib fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham, LAAG for short) is a Shia Muslim militant group operating throughout Syria and Iraq. It is named after the nickname of Imam Ali.
Liwa Assad Allah al-Ghalib was originally set up in late 2013 as part of the Liwa Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas network, ostensibly to work with other Shia militias to protect the Sayyidah Zaynab shrine, and was initially advised by Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq veterans. Although the group has Syrian members, LAAG primarily recruits Iraqi Shiites since its formation and has built an extensive recruitment network within Iraq.
Since mid-August 2013, LAAG began to actively fight for the Syrian government against various Syrian opposition groups. In this capacity, it originally operated almost exclusively in the Rif Dimashq Governorate, notably participating in the Rif Dimashq offensive (March–August 2013) and the Battle of Al-Malihah. This changed after June 2014, when ISIL conquered Mosul, as LAAG set up an Iraq branch. Furthermore, the group, among other Shia militias, deployed forces to Latakia Governorate in early 2015, when Sunni rebel forces threatened the local Alawite population. While LAAG returned to rural Rif Dimashq after this first northern foray, it became more active throughout Syria afterwards. In late 2015, LAAG sent fighters to Aleppo for the Aleppo offensive (October–December 2015), and in early 2016 it returned to the Syrian coastal highlands to participate in a local government offensive. At the same time, the group also began to provide advisors for Suqur al-Sahara. Meanwhile, LAAG had joined forces with Harakat al-Abdal in Iraq, "a stalwart Iraqi Shiite proxy of Iran", and developed close links with the Badr Organization and Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada.
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