Palestinian Factions Spearheading the Syrian Desert’s Battles
The Palestinian factions, fighting alongside Assad’s forces in Syria, form the nuclear of the Syrian Desert’s battles against the “Islamic State” (ISIS), especially those in Tulul al-Safa, eastern Sweida.
In their current battles, Assad’s forces are thrusting the Palestinian militias in the confrontations with the “Islamic State,” eastern Sweida, under the moto which the militias adopt: “In Defense of Homeland and Arabness.”
The latest statistics declared about the death toll and the injuries within the lines of these militias clarify the size of the Palestinian presence in the battles, especially the death of highly ranked officers, the last of whom was Brigadier General Walid al-Kurdi, a ranked officer at the “Palestine Liberation Army.”
Death while Facing the “Islamic State”
Through its official platforms, the “Palestine Liberation Army” has, for the past three days, mourned the death of 20 personal, who died at the outskirts of Tulul al-Safa, Sweida Desert.
One of the key figures lost to the “Liberation Army” is the Brigadier General Walid al-Kurdi, along with ten officers with “Honour Lieutenant” rank, whose death at the hands of the “Islamic State” was announced on September 28, in addition to a number of injured persons.
On Saturday (September 29), the “Palestine Liberation Army” posted a list of its dead and injured troops, the number of whom is 12 personals, hosted by the two military hospitals of Tishreen and Sweida.
A statement, published on the faction’s social networking sites, said: “After the recurrent questions from the relatives of the champions of the Palestine Liberation Army, this is a list of the names of martyrs and the injured in the surrounding of Tulul al-Safa during the military operations in the Battalion 412.”
A few days ago, the “Palestinian Refugee Camp” Network has posted a document issued by the “al-Qādisiyyah Forces” Dispensary, Damascus, containing the names of ten missing people, in addition to 15 names of injured Palestinian personal, who have all got injured or lost during the Sweida Desert Battels against the “Islamic State.”
Early in September, The Palestinian “Liwa al-Quds,” “Jerusalem Brigade,” started backing Assad’s forces in a military operation aiming at the capturing of the Syrian desert from the “Islamic State,” from the direction of eastern rural Homs.
On its official platforms, it posted a video of its forces’ movement towards the eastern rural Homs as to totally take it over from the “Islamic State,” which is yet active through hit-and-run operations.
Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, the death toll of the “Palestine Liberation Army” reached 271 personals, killed during the participation in the battles of Assad’s forces, according to a census conducted by the “Action Group for Palestinians of Syria.”
Tulul al-Safa Fort
The Assad’s forces continue their attempts to terminate the last enclave of the “Islamic State” in the Sweida Desert, since May, when they besieged its troops in Tulul al-Safa, the geography of which is rugged and utilized by “ISIS” in its maneuvers.
Assad’s forces are conducting daily aerial raids at the last enclave in the depths of eastern Sweida’s desert, reporting massive injuries in the lines of the “Islamic State,” but so far they failed to have a total control over the area.
The “Islamic State” ‘s choice to move and retreat towards the area called Tulul al-Safa, was studied, as it has a rugged nature with many caves and cliffs that make the movement of infantry and military vehicles very difficult.
The Tulul al-Safa area is the most recent volcanic cast in Syria, circle shaped with a maximum diameter of 19 kilometers and a minimum diameter of 16 kilometers.
Palestinians amidst the Syrian Action
Though the “Palestinian Cause” slogan has been exploited by various parties, the Palestinians of Syria were not far from the Syrian-Syrian conflict, for they had a share of death and displacement and lived the experience of detention at the Syrian regime’s prisons and intelligence services branches.
In Syria, there are more than 13 Palestinian refugee camps, some are official, others are not. The number of Palestinians is estimated with about half a million persons.
The largest of the camps is the Yarmouk camp which was destroyed almost completely, in addition to the camps of al-Sabinah, Khan Dannun, Handarat, al-Wafddien and others throughout the Syrian cities.
The Yarmouk camp witnessed an armed action on the part of its Palestinian residents, who were divided into those with and others against the Syrian regime, after it was bombarded by the regime for the first time in December 2012, in addition to the many opposition factions which entered it.
The Palestinian people did not survive detention, for the number of the Palestinian detainees imprisoned by the Syrian regime has reached 12492, of whom 541 died, including 63 women, according to the statistics published in April by the Palestinian Detainees and Disappeared in Syria Documentation Center.
Palestinian Factions Baking Assad’s Forces
The “Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,” headed by Ahmed Jibril, is one of the prominent factions fighting in Syria. Its operations alongside Assad’s forces focused on rural Damascus. As for the “Palestine Liberation Army,” its efforts in support of Assad’s forces concentrated on the Yarmouk camp.
The “Liwa al-Quds” is one of the major militias fighting alongside Assad’s forces, known for “Commandos of the Syrian Army.” It includes a number of people from the al-Nayrab Palestinian Refugee Camp and the Handarat Camp, rural Aleppo.
“Liwa al-Quds” is one of the most prominent militias that fought beside Assad’s forces in Aleppo, with the “Commandos of the Syrian Army” as its slogan.
Its personal are dubbed as “Fedayeen” (Commandos), which Syrian activists considered as a “demonization” of the Palestinian cause and an attempt to distract it from its track. The current number of its personal is estimated with two to three thousand troops.
The militias’ action is focused on Aleppo governorate, and it was founded in 2014 under the leadership of Engineer Mohammad Said. Most of its fighters are from the “Bab an-Nayrab” Palestinian Refugee Camp, at the eastern axis of the city.
Among the Palestinian factions fighting beside the Syrian regime, there is the “Coalition of Palestinian Forces and Popular Committees,” which consist of several armed factions, on top of which are the “Fatah al-Intifada,” “Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command,” “Sa’ka Forces,” (Thunderbolt Forces), “Palestinian Popular Struggle Front.”
In addition to these, there is the “Galilee Forces,” led by the Palestinian Fadi al-Mallah, who used to function under Ahmed Jibril, the Secretary General of the “Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command,” and one of the key pro-regime figures.
This militia was founded at mid-2012, and its troops were trained by Iranian officers and the fighters of the Lebanese “Hezbollah,” to show action in 2014 during the Qalamoun battles.
In 2015, this militia suffered the biggest loss with the death of 11 personal at the same time during the eastern Qalamoun battles against the “Islamic State.”