Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

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Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

Liwa Al-Quds (or the Al-Quds Brigade) is a Sunni Palestinian pro-government group formed in mid-2013 by Mohammad “Engineer” al-Sa’eed.  The group appeared after Jabhat al-Nusra (the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), also known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, had captured of the Handarat Camp north of Aleppo city and started oppressing its residents.

Mohammad al-Sa’eed established the force with the goal of recapturing the camp and supporting the Syrian Arab Army in its operations inside the city Aleppo and its countryside where government forces were in a very complicated situation at that moment.

Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

Mohammad “Engineer” al-Sa’eed (left), Suheil “Tiger” al-Hassan, Leader of the Tiger Forces (center), Jaafar Rafe, Liwa al-Quds field commander (right)

Another prominent group member, Colonel Mohammed “Godfather” Rafi, was the Liwa Al-Quds operations commander. Mohammed Rafi was one of the natives of the Handarat Camp and was killed in action during the final stages of the battle for Aleppo in 2016.

Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

Mohammed “Godfather” Rafi (left)

Liwa Al-Quds numbers over 9,000 fighters, according to the group’s statements. [Some skeptical sources say that the number is about 4,000-4,500] All of them are volunteers. A majority of the force is Palestinians from Aleppo city and its countryside. The command center of Al-Quds Brigade is currently located in the Handarat Camp. The force is mostly financed by donations from Palestinian businessmen. Nonetheless, some money come from the Palestinian Liberation Army and the Syrian government. The group is composed of three main battalions: Lions of al-Quds Battalion, the Deterrence Battalion and the Lions of al-Shahba’ Battalion.

Since its formation, Liwa Al-Quds have been deeply involved in clashes from the key Syrian city of Aleppo.

In mid-2013, Aleppo was on the verge of fall to Jabhat Al-Nusra and its allies. However, the steadfastness of the Syrian Arab Army, Liwa al-Quds and other pro-government factions allowed the Syrian government to remain in control of a part of the city. Liwa Al-Quds is responsible for repelling numerous jihadist attacks in western and northern Aleppo, including the assaults on the Air Force Intelligence HQ in the district of Zahra’.

Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

Mohammed “Godfather” Rafi and Liwa Al-Quds fighters

Liwa Al-Quds’s participated in a major offensive operation for the first time in the end of 2013 when they cooperated with the Tiger Forces during the Operation Canopus Star. As a result, government forces advanced in northeastern Aleppo capturing the strategic Sheikh Najjar Industrial district and lifting the siege from civilians and service members in the infamous Aleppo central prison.

Liwa al-Quds also participated in the Operation Rainbow in 2014 when its members supported the Tiger Forces’ offensive in western Aleppo. This time, pro-government fighters liberated Bashkuy, Al-Manasher, and Al-Mallah cutting a majority of the rebel supply lines inside Aleppo city.

In 2015, Liwa al-Quds units contributed in the southern Aleppo offensive when government forces seized dozens of villages and hills south of Aleppo city and forced militants to take a defensive posture in the area.

Liwa al-Quds also played an important role in a series of military operations in 2016 that led to the full liberation of the Aleppo city. The Palestinian militia, the Republican Guard, the Tiger Forces, the Desert Hawks and Hezbollah were a core of the government force involved in the effort.

In June-July 2016, Liwa al-Quds and the Tiger Forces took control over the Mallah Farms area and the Castello Road cutting off the only remaining supply line to the rebel-held eastern Aleppo districts.

This map shows the progress of the government advance in the Castello Road area (on July 26, 2016):

Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

Click to see the full-size map

Liwa al-Quds fighters played an instrumental role repelling the Jabhat al-Nusra-led attack in the Mallah Farms in northwestern Aleppo obliterating most of the militant assault force.

When Jabhat al-Nusra (in that moment, the terrorist group used the brand of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham) managed to temporarily broke the Aleppo pocket capturing a part of the Mallah farms area, Liwa al-Quds members repelled the militant advance and secured the area. This allowed government forces to continue their operations in southern Aleppo without worrying about their rear in Mallah.

Following this, Liwa al-Quds foiled an attack on near the Handarat Camp launched by the besieged insurgents. In September, the militia stormed the Handarat Camp and the nearby Kindi hospital forcing militants to withdraw deeper into the Aleppo city. These operations were an important part of the broader effort aimed at liberating the militant-held districts of Aleppo.

Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

Click to see the full-size map

Liwa Al-Quds continued its military operations supporting the Tiger Forces and the Syrian Arab Army in securing the eastern countryside of Aleppo. Liwa Al-Quds fighters played an active role in protecting the northern chunk of the Khanasser Highway, the only government supply route to the city.

This map provides a look at the Khanasser Highway heading to the city of Aleppo on January 27, 2017:

Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

Click to see the full-size map

In July-August 2016, the force was actively involved in operations in western Aleppo, especially in Ramoseh, Rashideen and Zahra’ areas. After Jabhat al-Nusra and its allied militant groups captured the Ramouseh Artillery Base complex and opened a new supply line to the militant-held part of Aleppo, members of Liwa al-Quds and the Tiger Forces broke militant defenses in the area and re-imposed the encirclement.

Liwa al-Quds took part in the further government advance inside Aleppo and this strategic city was fully liberated from militant groups in December 2016. This was one of the biggest victories of the Syrian government in the ongoing war.

During the Aleppo operation, Liwa al-Quds brigade as well as other pro-government factions was closely cooperating with the Russian military, including Russian military advisers deployed to the area.

In June 2016, men in Russian uniforms appeared in a photograph of Liwa al-Quds fighters.

Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

Click to see the full-size image

In August of the same year, Mohammed Rafi received a medal “For Strengthening of Battle Brotherhood” from Russian Lieutenant General Aleksandr Zhuravlev.

Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

Click to see the full-size image

Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

Click to see the full-size image

In October, more photographs appeared showing another Russian military officer bestowing medals to Mohammad al-Sa’eed and Mohammad Rafi.

Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

Click to see the full-size image

Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

Click to see the full-size image

In November 27, Mohammad Rafi was killed during the Liwa al-Quds operation in northeastern Aleppo. He was leading Liwa al-Quds fighters advancing in the direction of the Bayaddin district.

Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

Click to see the full-size map

Liwa Al-Quds is one of the largest and most powerful pro-government auxiliary force operating in Aleppo. Its fighters are known for their vast experience in urban warfare. Their armament is pretty light as the brigade only owns a small number of T-55 tanks and BMP-1 armored vehicles which were granted to it by the Palestinian Liberation Army. The brigade’s ammunition is supplied by the Russian, Syrian, and Iranian militaries.

Liwa al-Quds will likely be an integral part of the widely expected government operation aimed at liberating of the southwestern Aleppo countryside. In this area, government forces have two main options:

1. The first is to advance along the road linking Aleppo and Azaz and to retake the villages of Anadan, Hayyan, Harithan and Kafr Hamrah and the nearby area.

Red circles show the area that is de-facto contested:

Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

Click to see the full-size map

2. The second is to push in the direction of Khan Touman, recapturing this important logistical near the M5 Highway as well as Khirbat Khirs and the al-Rashidin area.

This map shows the possible scenarious of the government advance in western Aleppo (It was made on November 14, 2016 while the city of Aleppo was not liberated yet):

Liwa al-Quds: Powerful Pro-Government Palestinian Militia Operating In Aleppo

Click to see the full-size map

However, this operation has been awaiting while the Syrian government is solving problems that are more important: liberating pockets near Damascus and dealing with Jabhat al-Nusra and its allies in northern Hama.

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  • Aquartertoseven

    “Palestinian”

    You mean Jordanian yeah? The 1922 UN Palestine Mandate gives them Jordan, I think they seem to be a bit confused, thinking that they deserve Israel. That Mandate gave Israel to Jews and Jordan to Palestinians. A lot of violence and animosity would end if more people knew that.

    • Rakean Jaya

      I smell fear here, soon they help SAA to take back golan heigh, then SAA will help them to take back Jerusalem, Haifa and leave Israel to 1948 border

      • Aquartertoseven

        Fear of what? And ha, the SAA won’t help shit, they have absolutely no chance of taking on Israel; look at how much trouble a disorganised, air support deprived enemy are to them, Israel would be like a storm to them. They’d be embarrassed for a 3rd time.

        Syria has no business whatsoever in Israel. It’s amazing how Muslims like you have no regard at all for infidels and their lands. You think it’s your right to take control of them.

        • Gabriel Hollows

          Watching those IDF planes falling from the sky in pretty fireballs after being shot down by S-400s will be beautiful. And that will only be the beginning, kike.

          The holocaust didn’t happen, but it will.

          • Aquartertoseven

            Easy there dhimmi. Amazing how you think Islam’s your best friend when any area of the West with concentrated Islam is disastrous for Westerners.
            I take it that you’re brainwashed then. Russian aren’t supplying those, they’re doing just enough to help the SAA but they want to prolong the war for as long as possible, to test weapons/troops and have a showcase in order to boost weapon exports (article yesterday about profits going up for them over that).

          • Rakean Jaya

            ISIS is your Illegal state of Israel best friend anyway(thanks to Yalon for speak openly). In muslim majority countries ISIS is ilegal, same with zionism

          • Aquartertoseven

            ISIS operate under the same belief as majority muslim countries though, so the differences are minimal. They all believe in sharia, of the illegality of homosexuality, apostasy, the 2nd class status of women and infidels etc.

          • Rakean Jaya

            So you agree that ISIS is your best friend? the different is huge, there is fatwa in majority muslim countries that ISIS is criminal organization, ISIS is terrorist, but the wounded ISIS got treatment from Bibi, simple logic is, criminals will help other criminals. As for homosexuality, even in christian and jew is forbidden things. so what is your problem?, Islamophobia, religion-phobia? let me tell you Israel is a criminals-illegal state that will be disappear soon, because

          • Aquartertoseven

            How? Israel is the only real democracy in the Middle East, more so than any Muslim country. Gays aren’t murdered or arrested, same goes for apostasy, women are equal and non-Jews as equal too. How many Arabs in Knesset again?

            Ha, how many of these Muslim countries supply ISIS? They publicly condemn and privately encourage their proxy army to wipe out the infidels, to spread Islam as these nations know it as too.

            Israel helping terrorists isn’t ideal at all but Israel is only involved because Syria funnels Iranian missiles to Hezbollah. Hezbollah use these SOLELY on civilians, just like Hamas, so if Syria could co-exist and not once again (Lebanon being one example) looking to Islamise a neighbour, Israel would not have gotten involved.

            How many Christian countries have gay marriage again? And how many Muslim ones? Israel have yet to but they’re close; 60% there support it. Again, how many Muslims support it?

            Islamophobia? There’s nothing irrational about fearing Islam, what a laughable word. It’s not even a religion, it’s a socio-political cult.

            “Criminals-illegal state”? What about the mini-states of Muslims in the West? Their no-go zone ghettos, that not even cops can enter safely? Jews created their own country, from nothing, their neighbours were so pathetic that they needed to be handed borders from colonial powers!

            Ha, how long have Muslims been saying that Israel soon won’t exist? Twice they’ve been invaded by all of their neighbours and twice the neighbours have been utterly embarrassed. You wait until the US becomes oil independent/the Saudis run out of money (they’re losing cash fast)/renewables become viable (they’re becoming efficient at an accelerated rate), then the Islamic world will diminish into nothingness, reverting to sand based camel jockey barbarians as you used to be, before the West started drilling your oil. The likes of Israel will only grow, being advanced in terms tech development and civilised beliefs.

          • Rakean Jaya

            Is hard to discuss with no so clever(i’m sure you aren’t an idiot), brainwashed, fanatic one like you. Ok here is my answer
            1. “Israel only democracy”, Stupid claim, self prophesies, Arab in Knesset? How many JEW law maker in IRAN? even in Palestine, there is officials Jew represented them
            2. “how many of these Muslim countries supply ISIS”, Not So many, Arab Saudi(Israel secret lover),Qatar, Kuwait and the Rest condemn ISIS and categorizing ISIS as terrorist organization
            3. “Israel helping terrorists isn’t ideal at all but Israel is only involved because Syria funnels Iranian missiles to Hezbollah. Hezbollah use these SOLELY on civilians, just like Hamas, so if Syria could co-exist and not once again (Lebanon being one example) looking to Islamise a neighbour, Israel would not have gotten involved.” YOU LOVE ISIS, the rest is bullshit claims.
            4.”Syria funnels Iranian missiles to Hezbollah” what wrong with that, how about “US,UK funnels western weapons to criminal illegal state of Israel, Since Lebanon and Syria at War, because of their land has been stolen by Israel.
            5. “Gay Mariage Law”, None in Muslim countries, and that is GOOD thing, we shouldn’t proud of this Laws anyway, this Law, imposed by Zionist international thugs is a deceives law, even in Jew faith, homosexuality is a SIN, and Israel still doesn’t have that ‘Dirty Law’ yet, 60% support is cosmetic claims,
            6. “how long have Muslims been saying that Israel soon won’t exist?”…”Twice they’ve been invaded” all war since 1948 is war by designed, same with US, Tonkin Gulf etc, Israel claim have been invaded,,, HAHAHAHAHA
            7.For Sure, Israel will be gone, in 5-10, my estimation is 15 years MAX, even Kissinger told us about that. At that time Jerusalem will be free for all faith, no racist IDF guard anymore

            Thats all Aquatetoseven, hope this will Enlightening you, in case it didn’t, i give suggestion for you to hurry to go home, at least to your 1948 borders if you wont go back to Europe or US

          • Aquartertoseven

            A Muslim calling me a brainwashed fanatic, says the guy whose prophet, whom you all believe is perfect, was a mass murdering PAEDOPHILE.

            Iran has one Jewish lawmaker and he’s either brainwashed or coerced into spouting rubbish about Netanyahu. Iran is one of the most oppressive regimes on the planet bub, Israel isn’t. Your English is terrible so it’s hard to understand what you’re saying, but how isn’t Israel the only democracy in the area? Do these pretend democracies have gender equality, gay rights, freedom for infidels etc.? You’re not a real democracy if you don’t, because there’s no freedom.

            Publicly condemn ISIS but ISIS’ ideals are Muhammed’s, which are what these Muslim nations follow.

            3. Bullshit because you don’t like these facts, a typical Muslim thing to type. Facts that are inconvenient for you are fake, this is why the world thinks you people are inbred into the realm of retardation, because you are. Well, it all stems from the fact that no sane person would have a killer, paedo prophet.

            4. Israel doesn’t use them, only in self defence, whereas Hezbollah have started TWO WARS WITH Israel. Also Syria funneled Palestinians into Lebanon, who in turn declared war on this formerly Christian country and now it’s Islamified. You act like Syria is innocent when they’re trying to help Hezbollah destroy Israel too. Let’s hear you call these ^^ historical facts “false”, go on then. It’s not like it’s public knowledge! Missiles that are used for civilians alone, what do you mean “what’s wrong with that”??

            5. So you’re a homophobic piece of shit, shocker. Many animals of the same sex can be found having sex. Why would God create that?

            6. Hahahaha, the invasions of Israel were fake, hahaha, like the Moon landing right?! Because the result didn’t go your Muslim way, another inconvenient fact that you can’t accept.

            Keep dreaming, Israel are continuing to thrive while their neighbours/oil will start declining due to US energy independence and renewable technology becoming radically more efficient. Go back to your sand dunes and camels where you belong.

          • Rakean Jaya

            Okay then, clearly you are just a hasbarat, using every tactics to make your opponent angry, even insult our prophet. What ever you say anyway, see u next 5-10 years, at time your status is an ukranian, or some eastern countries citizen, or still Israel citizen with 1948 legal border.

          • CyricRenner

            Living under their satanic rule must come to an end.

        • anonim

          Things have certainly changed. Syria is facing US, Israel and other terrorists like Al Qaeda for about 5 years. You may regard Aleppo as a Stalingrad, and Quds as Berlin, because that’s the way things are going. You may also dream on, I don’t blame you.

        • Rakean Jaya

          Syria will take back land that has been stolen by the illegal state of Israel.That their business in case you dumb enough to understand history. Btw Israel is not infidels land, it was palestinian land, muslims,jews,christian palestinian , they live together hundreds years, then came criminals in 1940s, create wars, chaos as cover to ‘criminal project of greater illegal state of Israel’

        • Thegr8rambino

          And Israel has no business whatsoever in Syria, bombing SAAwhenever it wants. Fuck outta here with ur zionist bullshit!!!

          • Aquartertoseven

            Actually they do. Every time they bomb Syria, it’s because they’re targeting someone who was directly responsible for terrorist attacks on Israelis, like this attack a few days ago. If Syria didn’t supply Hezbollah, whose mandate is to wipe Israel out, then this war would never have needed to happen. But Muslims don’t do peace, so here we are.

          • Thegr8rambino

            Israel is supporting ISIS u fucking idiot, its BECAUSE of Israel this war is happening!!!

          • Aquartertoseven

            Not at all, this war is happening because Syria is supplying Hezbollah with missiles with which it can try to destroy Israel and its civilians. You can try to ignore these inconvenient facts (a trend with you), but they are FACTS. Why do you think there’s no animosity between Israel and Jordan? Because Jordan aren’t actively seeking the destruction of Israel, unlike Syria who are arming their proxies.

            If Syria did not do this then Israel wouldn’t be active, to whatever extent, within this war. And no, this war is happening mostly because the US/EU wants a pipeline to bypass Europe’s dependency on Russia as well as the Gulf states trying to break the strength of the Shia Cresent. Israel’s role within all of this is comparatively tiny.

        • CyricRenner

          Israel has not right to be there in the first place. They are the source of “Instability”. As to the Israeli fighting ability we saw in the last war with Hezbollah how over-rated they are. They are only as good as their weapons give them superiority. As that is lost, they will be defeated.

          • Aquartertoseven

            They have every right to be there, every nation on Earth (that isn’t a pathetic Muslim nation that required colonial powers to hand out their borders) won their land through conquest. You can’t imagine an exception due to antisemitism.

            Of course advanced weapons give them superiority, I think you’re new to the concept of war.

            4:1 kill rate for the Israelis, hardly overrated!

            Hezbollah only managed that because they like hiding and using human shields, like Hamas. They’re lucky that the Israelis are so restrained and actually care about civilian casualties.

  • FlorianGeyer

    In due course Syria will be liberated from the US sponsored proxy terrorist gangs of rapists and thieves. There will be uprisings against the traitorous Gulf State monarchies of quasi jews.
    The courageous Palestinian fighters and millions of Arab fighters will then be able to march into the occupied Palestinian lands and push the Israeli’s into the sea from whence they came in refugee ships from Europe.

    • jim crowland

      Why they don’t start with Israel?

      • Wahid Algiers

        For a big game it needs training before. Destroy Israel one day! That is the order.

    • PZIVJ1943

      It sounds like a shia dream come true !!

      • Aldrin Hamka

        “It sounds like a shia dream come true !!”

        LOL. Didn’t you read the article above?
        The real sunni’s dream also to wipe Israeli colonialists off from the earth.

    • Thegr8rambino

      From your mouth to Gods ears! :)

  • El Diablo

    Death to Israel. Anyway i think that is a good idea to give to all the palestinians a syrian/egiptian/other citizienship and to move here.