Fadlallah al-Haji

Fadlallah al-Haji (Arabic: فضل الله الحجي) is a Syrian rebel leader, close to Turkey[1] and the Muslim Brotherhood.[2] Considered a "scrupulous military man" by other Syrian rebel leaders and a "Turkish protégé",[3] al-Haji has led the Sham Legion since its formation in 2014. He was appointed chief of staff of the Syrian Interim Government's General Staff of its Ministry of Defence in 2017,[4] and has been the commander-in-chief of the National Front for Liberation since its formation in 2018. The NFL merged with the Syrian National Army in October 2019, and al-Haji was appointed a deputy chief of staff of the SNA, continuing to preside over the NFL, which will restructure into four legions.[5]

Fadlallah al-Haji
Native name
فضل الله الحجي
BornKafr Yahmoul, Idlib Governorate, Syria[1]
Allegiance Syria (until 2012)
Syrian Interim Government (2013–present)
Branch Syrian National Army (2017–present)
Years of service?–2012
RankColonel (?–2019)
Brigadier general (2019–present)
Unit Sham Legion (2014–present)
Battles/warsSyrian Civil War


Little is known about al-Haji's background; his photos were completely absent from the media and social networking sites until his public appearance in a press announcement in Urfa, southern Turkey, on 4 October 2019 that saw the National Front for Liberation merge with the Syrian National Army.[6] The Sham Legion is also known for keeping lists of its commanders, including dozens of defected military officers, secretive.[1]

Fadlallah al-Haji was born in the village of Kafr Yahmoul in the northern Idlib countryside in northwestern Syria. He joined the Syrian Armed Forces and attained the rank of colonel. In late 2012, during the escalation of the Syrian Civil War, he defected to the Free Syrian Army and joined the Shield of the Revolution Brigade as the group's deputy commander, serving under Colonel Mustafa Abdul Karim.[1]


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