Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa
|Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa|
لجبهة ثوار الرقة |
Jabhat Thūwwār ar-Raqqah
Participant in Syrian Civil War
Logo of Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa
Flag of Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa
|Active||September 2012 – Present|
Katibat Harayir Raqqa|
Raqqa Hawks Brigade (former)
Raqqa Martyrs Brigade (former)
Abu Diab †|
|Area of operations||
Raqqa Governorate, Syria|
Aleppo Governorate, Syria
Syrian Democratic Forces|
Free Syrian Army (Syrian opposition)
Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa (former-they continue to use the name)
|Originated as||Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa|
|Battles and wars|
Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa (Arabic: لواء ثوار الرقة, translit. Jabhat Thūwwār ar-Raqqah), or the Front of Raqqa Revolutionaries, is a rebel group that has been active during the Syrian civil war. It's currently part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the group which is backed by the US and anti-ISIS coalition.
Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa
Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa was allied with Jabhat al-Nusra in Raqqa city for a while in late 2013, but by January 2014 it had broken away from Jabhat al-Nusra after observing ties between al-Nusra leaders and al-Qaeda. Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa led the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the city of Raqqa when they were under attacks of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). After ISIL expelled Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa and other rebel groups from Raqqa city, Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa moved into the Raqqa Governorate countryside and allied itself with the Kurdish YPG. In July 2014 the faction and 10 other groups threatened to leave Aleppo and Raqqa governorates if they were not aided by other rebels to fight ISIL.
In September 2014 Liwa Thwwar al-Raqqa joined the Euphrates Volcano joint operations room, the Kurdish-Arab group. In 2015, it participated in the YPG offensive towards the Syrian border city of Tell Abyad. In June, fighters from Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa were seen hoisting the Syrian rebel flag near the Turkish border, whilst the group was also fighting ISIL in the southern city of Ayn Issa, on the road to Raqqa itself. Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa was able to grow considerably in size because of the influx of both rebels from Turkey and locals who wanted to fight ISIL. The current size of the brigade is unknown, but numbers in the hundreds at least. In October 2015, the group stated it received military equipment from the United States and YPG in order to fight ISIL north of Raqqa. It has stated it intends to capture the city of Raqqa from ISIL. Pro-opposition newspaper Al-Tamimi claimed that Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa wants Syria to become an undivided civil democratic state.
Reorganisation under the SDF banner
In November 2015, the group merged with Tribes' Army of Tell Abyad to form Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa which became part of a greater coalition in northern Syria. However tensions between the Kurdish and Arab factions of the group grew after alleged Kurdish atrocities against the Arab populations of northern Syria. In response the Kurds with their Arab allies blockaded the region held by Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa, after ISIS attacks increased from the region held by Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa, which became susceptible to an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant attack in late December 2015. On 6 January 2016, the group issued a statement claiming it was disbanding as a consequence of the blockade, although the cause of the disbandment has been disputed. After the disbandment they continued to use the Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa name. In late 2015, the group reappeared, announcing it had decided to join Syrian Democratic Forces.
During the November 2016 Raqqa offensive, two of its former groups, the Raqqa Hawks Brigade and Raqqa Martyrs Brigade, are participating in the countryside operations., while Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa will be involved in taking the city itself.
During the offensive, Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa's political bureau condemned the offensive for being led by the YPG. This caused tensions between the group's political bureau, who opposes the YPG, and the overall leader and military commander of Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa, Abu Issa, who is allied with the YPG. In response, the YPG besieged and raided the group's headquarter. Some members of Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa left the group and joined Jaysh al-Salam's Liwa Ahrar al-Raqqa in response to the tensions.
- Antonopoulos, Paul (20 October 2016). "Video: Thuwar Raqqa announce a women's battalion to fight ISIS". al-Masdar News.
- "Leader of Raqqa Rebels brigade killed". ARA News. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "Islamic State foiled in attempt to kidnap Syrian rebel leader in Turkey". The Guardian. 19 October 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
- "FSA fighting alongside Kobane Kurds". NOW. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
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- Simon, Alex (5 March 2014). "Al-Tamimi: ISIS claiming control in Yarmouk 'publicity stunt'". Syria Direct. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- "Syria's Raqqa in turmoil as violence increases". ARA News. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
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- "Syria rebels struggle for control over ISIL-held Raqqa". ARA News. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "A new dialogue and collaboration in northern Syria between kurds and rebels". The Arab Chronicle. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "#Syria: Liwa Thuwar #Raqqa (#FSA) rebels driving through Tall Abyad today, being cheered on by residents who stayed". Live UA Map. 16 June 2015.
- Al-Tamimi, Aymenn Jawad (29 April 2014). "Key updates on Albukamal (Abu Kamal)". Brown Moses Blog. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- Al-Tamimi, Aymenn Jawad (14 September 2015). "Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa: History, analysis & interview". Syria Comment. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- "Rebels demand help as fighting rages against ISIS in Ghouta". The Daily Star. 3 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- "FSA spokesman confirms aid for 'decisive battle to liberate Raqqa'". Syria Direct.
- "Ultimele stiri si informatii despre Liwa Thuwwar Al Raqqa". www.disperat.ro. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
- Syria_Rebel_Obs (10 November 2016). "IMPORTANT - Liwa Thuwar #Raqqa political bureau was many times in conflict with its military leader, Abu Issa, that's the problem" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Liwa Thuwar Raqqa refrain from participating SDF Wrath of the Euphrates battle". El-Dorar Al-Shamia. 10 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
- Syria_Rebel_Obs (10 November 2016). "Stop saying "Liwa Thuwar #Raqqa left #SDF" : brigade is few, and MORE IMPORTANT, besieged de facto by #SDF bases around its HQ" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Syria_Rebel_Obs (11 November 2016). "LOCAL SOURCE - Fighters from Liwa Thuwar #Raqqa left #HQ during night and joined #SDF Liwa Ahrar #Raqqa (former Liwa al-Jihad)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Official website (Arabic)