Liwa Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas
Also Known As: al-Abbas Brigade;
Country Of Origin: Syria;
Key Members: Abu Ajeeb (Secretary General), Abu Hajar (Brigade Commander);
Operational Area: Syria;
Number Of Members: 10,000+;
Involved In: Armed Attacks, Bomb Attacks, Assasinations;
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The Brigade of Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas, also known as the al-Abbas Brigade, is a pro-government Twelver Shia Muslim militant group operating in Syria. The group it is named after the nickname of Al-Abbas ibn Ali, son of Imam Ali.
The group is designated as a terrorist organisation by the authorities in the United Arab Emirates. The group was formed in late 2012 to defend the Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque and other Shia holy sites in Syria.
It rose in prominence in reaction to the desecration of various shrines, heritage sites, and places of worship by rebels during the Syrian civil war and subsequently collaborated with the Syrian Army.
Its fighters include native Shia Damascenes, Damascus-based Iraqi Shia refugees, Iraqi Shia volunteers, and other foreign Shia volunteers. Iraqi nationals form its primary constituent. The group fights primarily around Damascus, but has fought in Aleppo and other parts of Syria as well.
In May and June 2013, Reuters reported a split had developed within the brigade over finances and leadership which erupted into a gunbattle. Many non-Syrian members subsequently formed a different brigade.
On 19 May 2014, fighters from the Nour al-Din al-Zanki Brigade claimed to have taken over the al-Abbas Brigade’s regional headquarters in Aleppo.
As the Islamic State made significant gains in Iraq in mid 2014, its Iraqi members were forced to return home to defend the faltering Shi’ite led government in Baghdad.
The al-Abbas Bridge reportedly took part in the 2018 Southern Syria offensive in support of government troops. The militia has the backing of the Iranian Regime.