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Free Syrian Army

New Battalions Sign the Code of Conduct

par لجان التنسيق المحلية في سوريا, mercredi 8 août 2012, 14:41 ·

New Battalions Sign the Code of Conduct

As the ranks of the Free Syrian Army expand and its brave fighters fight a national, multi-front battle, there has become a need for rules to govern their work. These rules must combine the spirit of the national duty they carry out today in facing the aggressor, Bashar Al-Assad and his regime, and moving towards the regime’s ouster and the interests of justice and military discipline.

The Local Coordination Committees presents this brief code of conduct to the fighters and to the public, so as to draw attention to and highlight the moral and political ethics of military action. These ethics are, in essence, the same as positions the Free Syrian Army has taken in recent days, as well as the principles they have announced. These ethics and principles represent the essence of our revolution and its moral and national foundation.


The Syrian Revolution erupted in Mid-March 2011 against a corrupt and despotic regime that weakened a country and humiliated its people, raising a small group of elites above the Syrian general public. From the very beginning, the regime responded to popular protests with violence and hatred, and pitted the national army against the revolutionary citizens to protect the oppressive regime.

The Free Syrian Army was formed by honorable officers, junior officers, and soldiers who defected from the regime because they refused to kill their fellow citizens. They were joined by brave civilians whose families and homes were destroyed by Assad’s aggression.

Today, the Free Syrian Army plays a genuine military role in the glorious Syrian revolution. Therefore, the values and goals of the revolution (freedom, dignity, and justice for Syria and the Syrian people, and the protection and unity of the country), must serve as the military doctrine and governing principles for the Army’s actions and the behavior of its members.

The Free Syrian Army looks forward to the day when Syria will be free, so that it might be at the core of a new national army that protects the country’s independence, sovereignty, constitution, and democratic institutions. The Free Syrian Army is sacrificing its blood in order for that day to come.


Article I

In the Free Syrian Army, as an independent, defected soldier, or civilian volunteer, my first responsibilities are to:

Defend Syrian revolutionaries in the face of tyranny and ensure the continuation of the revolution to oust the regime. I will direct my weapons exclusively against Assad aggressors. I will serve my nation, Syria, and the freedom of the Syrian people. I am a fighter in the battle to defend my people.

I will use my weapons to overthrow the criminal regime that has been imposed upon us.


Article II

I pledge to my people and my revolution that I will refrain from any behavior or practice that would undermine the principles of our revolution: the principles of freedom, citizenship, and dignity. I will respect human rights in accordance with our legal principles, our tolerant religious principles, and the international laws governing human rights – the very human rights for which we struggle today and which we intend to implement in the future Syria.


Article III

Any person who takes up arms in the name of the regime, regardless of their rank, should be arrested and remain in the custody of the Free Syrian Army. In the event that an individual is arrested, and it is determined that the individual was working for the regime, voluntarily or for payment, to supply information about revolutionary activists, that individual shall be considered a prisoner and treated in accordance with laws governing prisoners of war.


Article IV

I pledge not to practice any form of torture, rape, mutilation, or degradation. I will preserve prisoners’ rights and will not exercise any of the above practices in order to obtain confessions.


Article V

I will not issue any executive orders, particularly with regard to death or corporal punishment. Only an appropriate legal authority, with relevant expertise, may conduct trials and find perpetrators guilty.


Article VI

I will not engage in any practice that leads to the physical torture or murder of prisoners or informants, and I will not participate in any public execution.


Article VII

I pledge not to engage in any form of theft or looting on the pretext that I am helping to finance the armed struggle. I pledge not to take any person hostage for ransom.


Article VIII

I pledge not to use my weapon against activists or civilians, whether or not I agree with them; and I pledge to not use my weapon against any other Syrian citizen. I pledge to limit my use of weapons to the defense of our people and myself in facing the criminal regime.


Article IX

I pledge not to exercise reprisals on the basis of ethnicity, sect, religion, or any other basis, and to refrain from any abusive practices, in word or in deed, against any component of the Syrian people.


Article X

I pledge to surrender my weapons to the Transitional Authority, which will manage the country’s affairs during the transitional period after the fall of the regime.


Article XI

If found guilty of violating any of these articles, I agree to submit to a fair trial undertaken by specialized committees formed under the supervision of the Free Syrian Army’s leadership and monitored by an independent judiciary body.


Initial Signatories:

Lieutenant Colonel Muhannad Ahmad Al-Talaa, Commander of the Military Council of Deir Ezzor

Colonel Qassim Saad Eddin, Commander of the Military Council in Homs

Sergeant Ismail Sheikh Saleh, Jisr Al-Shoghour, Idlib

Lieutenant Colonel Zahid Hourani, head of the Military Office in Homs

Major Ibrahim Moutawaa, Commander of the Al-Nour Battalion in Qosair

Colonel Radwan Ayyoush, Commander of the Military Office in Homs

Lieutenant Colonel Jamil Ra’adoun, Commander of the League of Battalions in the Hama Countryside

Colonel Khaled Alqatini of Khan Sheihoun and its countryside

First Lieutenant Hamza Qaziz, Al-Baraa Brigade in Douma

The Al-Baraa Brigade in Douma

Major Abou Mohammad Al-Homsi, the Soldiers of God Brigade in Damascus

The Falcons of the Land Brigade in Hama

The Martyrs of Latamna Battalion

The Martyrs of Asi Battalion in Hama

The Abi Al-Fidaa Battalion in Hama

The Special Operations Battalion in Hama

The Sunna Lions Battalion in Mayadeen

The Omar Al-Mukhtar Battalion in Deir Baalba, Homs

Abdul Baset Sarout


New Signatures


Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad al-Aboud Commander of the Revolutionary Military Council in Deir Ezzor


Captain Mostafa Shawardi/ Ansar Mohammad Battalion in Mawrak


Lieutenant Colonel Hafez Jad AlKaeem Faraj Commander of the Military Council in the Governorate of Sweida


Lieutenant Maher al-Tamer Commander of Shuhada al-Hurriya (Martyrs of Freedom) Battalion in Mawrak


Al-Haq (The Truth) Battalion in Mqeilbiya


Burkan al-Sham (Damascus Volcano) Battalion


New Signatures


Major Qassem Najem/ Tahrir alJanoob Battalion in Daraa


Captain Khaled Fatehallah Commander of the Free Syrian Army in Daeel


Captain Ali Shakerdi/ al-Amjad Battalion in Aleppo


The Syrian civilians who became rebel fighters

Rebels in Idlib (Photo by Darren Conway) Recruits of the Free Syrian Army have had to learn quickly

As the conflict in Syria escalates, rebel forces are growing in strength and launching increasingly deadly attacks on government targets. But how do men go from “ordinary” life to combat, from grilling kebabs to building bombs in the back yard? From Idlib, the BBC’s Ian Pannell reports.

Omar has not been lucky. A large man with a shaggy beard and tight curly black hair, he emigrated to Libya to set up a kebab restaurant. It did well so he set up another one.

Then last year the Libyan revolution erupted and one restaurant was destroyed by Nato bombing, the other by Colonel Gaddafi’s forces.

So he packed up his bags and brought his family back to his native Syria. The country was already in the throes of protests calling for change.

But as the government began to physically suppress its opponents so those calls became increasingly vociferous, by stages morphing into armed insurrection.

Like many men in his neighbourhood, he had not held a weapon since his two years national service.

But as the violence began to spiral, mechanics, shopkeepers and chefs like Omar took up arms, forming the rebel Free Syrian Army. He became a marked man and as government forces advanced he was forced to run away again, abandoning yet another business.

Olive groves

Over a lunch of salad, pitta bread, yoghurt and hummus, Omar draws a crowd in the kitchen as he effortlessly skins a tomato in one piece, expertly folding it into a decorative rose, his hands a blur as he chops cucumbers and fragrant mint leaves.

Omar, a rebel, planting an IED in Idlib, Syria (Picture by Darren Conway) Fighters like Omar see the home-made bombs as legitimate weapons

We talk about the differences between the two countries.

“In Libya you could talk about anything but not politics,” he says. “In Syria you could talk about anything but not the Assad family.”

It underlines the extent to which this has become a very personal struggle, not just against the Baath Party and Syrian government but also against President Bashar al-Assad and the family that has kept a tight grip on the country’s power and resources for more than four decades.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

We build bombs because they give us strength”

Omar Rebel fighter

It has also become a violent struggle. Today Omar lives in a farmhouse, hidden amongst the vast olive groves in the north of the country. He doesn’t make kebabs anymore, he plants IEDs, improvised explosive devices. In other words, home-made bombs.

“Offence is the best defence,” he says, explaining a tactic that many find repugnant. The very letters I-E-D are redolent of the Taliban in Afghanistan or al-Qaeda in Iraq. For some Syrians, and certainly the Assad government, these men are simply terrorists.

But with little support from the outside world and just a small quantity of arms and ammunition now crossing the Turkish border, the fighters see the home-made bombs as legitimate weapons.

Fighting between rebels and government forces appears to be intensifying in Idlib, as Ian Pannell explains in this recent report

“We are weak,” he says. “We build bombs because they give us strength.” And he insists they only attack the army, not civilians.

We spent nearly two weeks with Omar and the self-styled Idlib Martyrs Brigade; men who regard themselves as freedom fighters, a latter-day band of merry men with Bassel Abu Abdu, their commander, as some sort of Robin Hood figure.


Curiously, in this corner of Syria, this very English folk tale of a group of outlaws taking on a wicked overlord and defending ordinary people has gripped the popular imagination.

And they certainly have some magnetism as they move through the countryside, drawing crowds of admiring children, grateful residents offering tea and bread.

Rebel commander Bassel Abu Abdu in Idlib (Photo by Darren Conway) Bassel Abu Abdu, the group’s commander, used to sell spare car parts

Bassel leads hundreds of fighters. Like Omar, he has only limited military experience.

He used to sell spare car parts. But they have fought endless battles over the last year and have grown stronger and smarter all the time. Bassel also confesses that he draws inspiration from war movies.

I ask him which film in particular. He says he cannot remember the title and apologises because it is the story of a battle against the English.

He describes a strong leader hundreds of years ago, who took on a much stronger army, fighting for independence for his people. The film, of course, is Braveheart, the story of William Wallace, a 13th Century Scottish hero who fought for the independence of Scotland.

But the terrifying reality on the ground is not the stuff of romantic tales or historical drama.

It has become a seething mire of violence and bloodshed. Artillery shells destroying homes and lives, tank rounds blasting into villages, gunfire and bomb explosions.

Whatever the rights and wrongs or reasons, both sides are now locked into a fight to the death. Both sides believe they have right on their side, that the ends justify the means, and they are willing to do almost anything to win.

How to listen to From Our Own Correspondent:

BBC Radio 4: A 30-minute programme on Saturdays, 11:30 BST.


From the FSA (subtitled)

Syria newsbreaking

Pictures of the 6 government officials confirmed dead. May God punish them for their brutality. Ameen. #syria

Syrian activists to rebels: Give us our revolution back

Many of the activists who began the uprising in Syria more than a year ago feel their peaceful push for change has been hijacked by the rebel Free Syrian Army. They’re meeting in Cairo today.

By Gert van Langendonck, Correspondent, Sarah Lynch, Correspondent / April 16, 2012

In this March 27 citizen journalism image provided by the Local Coordination Committees in Syria, black smoke rises from buildings in Homs, Syria.

Local Coordination Committees in Syria/AP

Beirut, Lebanon; and Cairo

Syrian activist Mohamed Alloush has fled his native country for Lebanon, but it wasn’t President Bashar al-Assad‘s regime that drove him away. It was the rebels of the Free Syrian Army who ran him out of his hometown of Homs.

“In September last year I had been arrested again by the regime for organizing protests,” says Mr. Alloush, speaking on a cafe terrace in Beirut. “After they released me, I ran into a group of men I knew as members of the Free Syrian Army. I walked up to them and screamed: “You guys have stolen our revolution! You are just as bad as the shabiha,” the pro-regime militia in Syria.

The rebels kept Alloush for four days, after which they told him not to show his face in Homs again.

Alloush is part of the movement of young revolutionaries who began the protests against the Assad regime in March last year in the wake of similar uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. They feel sidelined by the violent turn the conflict in Syria has taken since the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was formed last summer. An armed group comprised mainly of former Army soldiers who defected from the regime, it is also reportedly cooperating with Sunni jihadis from abroad and many brigades have adopted an increasingly sectarian tone.

QUIZ: How well do you know the differences between Sunnis and Shiites?

“Our revolution has been stolen from us by people who have their own agenda,” says a singer who uses the pseudonym ‘Safinas’ because she still lives in Damascus. “We are not violent people. We want to get back to the real thing. It was a clean thing when it started, but it has become something else now. I am against the regime, but I am also against the armed rebels.”

More than 200 peaceful Syrian activists are gathered in Cairo until tomorrow for a conference aimed at uniting revolutionaries around one common goal: returning to the nonviolent protests of last summer. While they acknowledge that the FSA has built up significant momentum, with Saudi Arabia and Qatar calling for the international community to arm the rebels, they see an opportunity for the momentum to swing back to the nonviolent activists if the United Nations cease-fire brokered by Kofi Annan holds.

“Mr. Annan’s plan is our main hope at this point and we are trying to have everybody abide by it,” says Haytham Khoury, a member of the Syrian Democratic Platform, attending Cairo’s conference. “We are contacting other opposition groups, trying to give hope to the people through media” to convey that “this is a very good step toward saving lives and regaining a completely peaceful revolution.”

The Syrian regime suspended military action beginning April 12, but reports of renewed shelling today underscore the fragility of the cease-fire, which is aimed at ending the violence that has killed more than 9,000 since the uprising broke out. With the international community struggling to gain leverage over the regime’s brutal crackdown, some Syrians see the FSA as their only option for freedom.

“Frankly, we’ve given up” on the international community, an activist in Damascus who identifies himself as Mar says via Skype. “You guys have let us down. The FSA is our only hope for salvation now.”

Assad’s government has characterized the uprising largely as the work of armed gangs and terrorists. The activity of the FSA, which has been accused of human rights violations as it fights the regime, has complicated what began as a revolution in which the masses peacefully but persistently demand political reform as Egyptians did in Tahrir Square.

Some say that the Assad regime views political change, rather than armed insurgency, as the greater threat.

“The regime is more afraid of the nonviolent protesters than it is of the armed Islamists. That’s why most of them have been forced to leave the country or are in prison,” says Yara Nseir, who was forced to flee Syria last summer after she had been detained 18 days for distributing leaflets. “They wanted it to become an armed uprising because it allows them to tell the world that they are fighting terrorists.”

Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoğlu made a telling remark at an Istanbul press conference April 13, when he was asked if “the Syrian regime is afraid of their own Tahrir.” He replied, “That is what we have believed from day one.”

‘I told them to their face they are criminals’

Alloush, who fled to Lebanon to escape the FSA, was among the first activists to organize anti-regime protests in Homs when the uprising began in March 2011.

“Back then the regime would have armed troublemakers mingle with the protesters to have an excuse to open fire on us. Well, they don’t need to do that anymore: the Free Syrian Army has provided them with the perfect excuse to go on killing people.”

In February, Alloush went back to Homs clandestinely. He made the rounds of the city’s mosques to persuade the imams there to preach against the use of violence. When the FSA found out he was in town he fled to neighboring Lebanon once again.

Another young Syrian activist, who goes by the pseudonym Yusuf Ashamy, has also drawn the ire of the FSA.

Mr. Ashamy was in Tripoli in north Lebanon last month to ask the FSA for help in sending a shipment of medicine to besieged cities in Syria when Human Rights Watch published a report on severe human rights violations by the Syrian rebels.

IN PICTURES: Conflict in Syria

In an open letter to the leaders of the Syrian opposition, Human Rights Watch cited “increasing evidence of kidnappings, the use of torture, and executions by armed Syrian opposition members.”

“I told them to their face they are criminals if they do such things, and that they know the meaning of the word freedom,” says Ashamy.

Ashamy was told he had better not show his face around Tripoli again if he wanted to stay alive.

“They have ruined everything,” Ashamy says of the FSA. “In the beginning we were all Syrians. But when I was last in Homs [late last year] I found that people there were not even aware of what is happening elsewhere in the country. They see this as a purely Sunni Muslim insurgency, and I was accused of being a spy because my ancestry is Druze. ”

Why the uprising has shrunk

“We are still many who want a peaceful revolution,” an activist who calls herself Celine says via Skype from Damascus. “But since it became an armed conflict, many people who were sympathetic to our cause have dropped out.”

It has also become much more dangerous to stage protests. “These days we only talk to people we know very well,” says Celine.

As a consequence, the protests have become much smaller. Celine describes one recent action.

“We had agreed to meet at a strategic intersection in central Damascus. Some of us set tires on fire, while others chanted slogans. The whole thing lasted no longer than five minutes. Bystanders wanted to join us but we’d already disappeared.”

It may not seem much, “but it is important that our voices are heard. And we make sure that our protests are filmed and the videos are sent out to the media.”

Leaders needed for ‘this sensitive period’

The Syrian National Council, an umbrella opposition group, is supposed to provide a channel for working for political change. But even Ms. Nseir, who is the SNC’s spokesperson in Lebanon, says the SNC is seen as too closely aligned with the FSA to present a real alternative to their armed rebellion.

“The SNC claims to be representative of the Syrian people. That’s just not true,” says Nseir. “They talk only about arming the rebels. They never talk about nonviolent resistance and they certainly do not speak for the ramadieen, or grey people, the silent majority who support neither the regime nor the armed rebels.”

Nseir has considered resigning from the SNC, as others have done, “but I was persuaded to stay on and try and change things from within.”

She has set her hopes on the Cairo conference. “We hope to agree on a message that everyone who is against the further militarization of this conflict can get behind,” she says.

“The opposition: They have to solve the problem,” says Ali Ali, a Syrian activist who was heavily involved in planning the nation’s uprising and now resides in Cairo, where he is attending the conference.

“The people who are demonstrating in the streets need to stop the blood and need a real opposition to lead this sensitive period,” he says, adding that like the regime, the opposition is responsible “for the blood that bleeds every day in Syria” and finding a way to make violence end.

“This conference is an arena for all political ideas and visions to meet,” says Syrian activist Orwa Al-Ahmed, now living in Dubai. “Most people are with the peaceful initiative. But to achieve this it requires the involvement of other political leaders and visions.”

The activists are not naïve: they know they cannot turn back the clock to last summer, before the uprising turned violent. But they are still determined to work toward peaceful solutions.

“There is no going back,” says Alloush. “The Free Syrian Army is a reality and we have to accept it. But that does not mean that we have to accept them as the leaders of this revolution. I know these people, and I know that many of them want to turn Syria into an Islamic republic if they get the chance.”

The Syrian opposition has called for mass demonstrations this Friday to test Mr. Annan’s peace plan. One of the conditions of the plan is that the regime allow freedom of assembly.

“We have a tiny window, but time is against us,” says activist Safinas. “We are fighting two regimes and two armies now.”


Back from Syria @ Democracy Now

Click on image

Al-Farouq brigades declare their complete commitment to Mr. Kofi Annan’s, the UN and Arab League’s ambassador initiative to Syria

avril 17, 2012

Communiqué from the “Farouq” brigade of the FSA at Homs:

We, the brigades of Farouq in the state of Homs, declare our complete commitment to Mr. Kofi Annan’s, the UN and Arab League’s ambassador to Syria, initiative that was released lately – even though it oppresses our people-confirming at the same time our support to our FSA leader’s orders that command us to give a chance for Mr.Annan’s initiative to achieve our rebelled-against Assad’s regime people’s interests.

And we confirm that our people in Homs are being shelled, killed, displaced daily and there has been no releasing of prisoners or withdrawal of any military equipment from the city and there has been no permits for Arabic or international media to get into Syria and to move freely.

There has been no humanitarian aid coming into the state of Homs, and peaceful protests were not allowed. Today (Friday) for example, there were more than 20 martyrs and tens of people were wounded in the sight of the world, which means that Assad’s gangs have not committed to any section of Mr.Annan’s initiative.

And we will not allow Assad’s regime to benefit from this chance to kill more of our people without being punished for his crimes forever. Our patience is about to end, and forewarned is forearmed.”

Long live free Syria

Homs- Friday 13/4/2012 The Free Syrian Army, Farouq Brigade

Al Jazeera meets Free Syrian Army fighters


Live link to Syria :

Interview of Syria’s Commander of the Free Syrian Army

225. Revlon (on Syria Comment) said:

العقيد : رياض الأسعد – تقديم : عمر خشرم تاريخ البث 2011/11/19
لقاء اليوم – العقيد : رياض الأسعد

This interview was aired yesterday on AlJazeera
It served to introduce Colonel Riad AlAsaad,
Commander of the FSA
President of the Transitional Military Council

He appeared in civilian suit.
He spoke with clear language and clarity of purpose.
He projected civility, assertiveness and good nature.
He spoke about the revolution and revolutionists with affection and pride.

The following is an English summary of the Q/A

On the identity of the members of the FSA.
– All are professionals of the armed forces.

On the types and sources of arms of FSA?
– Light and intermediate.
– Source is strictly within Syria: brought along with defectors, acquired from ambushing Asad units, or bought from black market; interestingly, such sources have included Alawis arms businessmen and smugglers, who are currently part of the regime!
– None of FSA arms come from any non-Syrian sources.

On the strategy of FSA: the protection of civilians
– Ambushing convoys of Shabbeeha and security forces on their way to crackdown.
– Attacking security checkpoints.
– Engaging armoured units enforcing blockade on cities.

On the number of the FSA and rate of defection from Asad army;
– Number of FSA members is >15,000
– Defection is taking place daily.
– Rate and size of defection are on the rise.
– The more and bolder FSA operations the more defections.
– Asad army officers and soldiers wait for the right time to defect, such as attacks on their units by FSA who provide them with fire cover for their protection.
– Defections have been seriously hampered by Asad air force which serves to track and capture many defectors, like happened in Rastan and Baba Amr.

On the Militarization of the Revolution
– WFSA rejects such concept.
– FSA members are professional army members who have the right to defend Syrians as per Oath.
– Our number and armament do not enable us to fight army to an army.
– However, we are able, through our targeted operations cum defections to dismantle the Syrian army from within.
– Our experience from ground operations and from own reconnaissance from Asad security forces have shown us that Asad army is crumbling and their members are utterly demoralised. One clear example is the use of Air force, Artillery and tanks to merely subdue a small unit of the FSA. To us, Baba Amr operation spells the beginning of the end of the Regime.

On the future of FSA operations in the wake of the failure of the AL initiative
– We spontaneously suspended all our operations against Asad forces once the AL initiative was signed, although we knew the regime will not honour the agreement.
– Asad forces instead attacked and shelled Homs city with tanks and shells.
– Asad released 550 prisoners, only to arrest 4000 just in the Reef Dimashq area (Countryside of Damascus).
– Asad forces have managed to repaint Army armoured vehicles in blue to claim that it belonged to police.
– There is a plan for Asad armed forces and security agents armed with light concealable machine guns, to dress in civilian cloths and infiltrate demonstrators and fire at the crowd to create a scene of chaos and perpetuate their claim of armed gangs.

On future plans for acquiring heavy arms.
– None!
– We incite terror in Asad forces with the light weapons we have.
– We draw strength from the bravery of our revolution and from our faith.
– We salute the Syrian people who give us the greatest of inspirations to defeat this regime.

On the way FSA is regarded by Revolutionists
– Their saviour and the future army of Free Syria.
– We are a national, non-ideological army

On the presence of Officers from minorities in FSA
– None so far.
– I have made an overture to Alawi officer friends and I hope they join us. We hope the honourables of the officers from Kurdish, Alawis, Christian and Druze communities join us in the future.

On FSA ties with Turkey
– We thank Turkey and its PM for hosting Syrian refugees.
– Turkey’s contribution to us has been limited to humanitarian aid.
– Unlike in Lebanon refugees feel safe and do not fear getting arrested.
– Turkey has not provided us with a single bullet.
– None of our arms came from Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan; we buy much of it from local market in Syria, including regime merchants in Aalwis Mountains.

On relationship with SNC
– We support the SNC as long as they stick to serving the goals of the revolution.
– We do not need foreign military forces to fight for us
– We call the international community to provide us with political cover, a no fly zone, and arms in order to expediate our operation in ousting Asad and his regime.
– I have met with a delegation from SNC and the meeting was fruitful.
– We have decided to form a coordination assembly mandated with drawing the strategy for future Syria.

End of interview

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