The feud between Jaysh Al-Islam (Army of Islam) and Jaysh Al-‘Ummah (Army of the Union) has recently escalated after the former assassinated 2 senior members of the latter (Hishaam Mahfouzh and ‘Imad Al-Barhamaji) at the city of Douma in the Rif Dimashq Governorate, furthering the turmoil between the rival rebel groups in this strategic area.

Tensions between the 2 rebel groups began in mid-October, when Jaysh Al-Islam militants attempted to assassinate the leader of Jaysh Al-‘Ummah , Ahmad Taha (AKA: “Abu Subhi”), at his headquarters in Douma. Taha was wounded during the assassination attempt, but he survived the attack; however, his son, Subhi and his cousin/deputy, Hassan, were killed as a result of the assassination attempt.

Following a failed reconciliation initiative in late December 2014, Jaysh Al-Islam’s leader, Zahran Alloush, declared war against Jaysh Al-‘Ummah and its affiliates inside the East Ghouta (collection of farms) of the Rif Dimashq Governorate. Alloush’s soldiers carried out an attack on the headquarters of Jaysh Al-‘Ummah, killing a number of combatants before capturing the building.

As a result of the violent confrontation between the 2 groups, the Central Command of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) declared war on the militants from Jaysh Al-Islam and for the immediate arrest of Zahran Alloush.

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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