Liwa Dawud

Liwa Dawud (Arabic:لواء داوود, liwa' dawud, The David Brigade) was an armed group in the Syrian Civil War headquartered in Samrin in the Idlib Governorate and originated as a subunit in Suqour al-Sham then later became an independent faction then joined the Jaysh al-Sham coalition until 2014 when the group along with its leader defected to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant during the course of the Inter-rebel conflict during the Syrian Civil War.

Liwa Dawud
لواء داوود
Liwa Dawud
Participant in Syrian Civil War
Flag of Liwa Dawud[1]
IdeologySunni Islamism
LeadersHassan Aboud[2][3]
Area of operationsIdlib Governorate, Syria
Size1,000 men, 10 tanks, and 150 vehicles [4]
Part ofSuqour al-Sham (2012-2013)[5]
Jaysh al-Sham (2014)
Syrian Islamic Liberation Front
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Allies Islamic Front
Al-Nusra Front
 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Opponent(s) Syria
Free Syrian Army[6]
People's Protection Units
Ahrar al-Sham (covertly)
Battles and war(s)Syrian Civil War

In an interview the group's leader Hassan Aboud stated that the rebels were corrupt profiteers. Other rebel groups were suspicious of Aboud and Liwa Dawud for being extremists and Islamic State affiliates in Idlib. Aboud and one of his brothers fought American forces during the Iraq War, according to locals. Some suggested that the pair returned to Syria as a sleeper cell tied to Al Qaeda in Iraq. Prior to the foundation of Liwa Dawud Hassan Aboud joined Suqour al-Sham in 2011. Other members of Jaysh al-Sham saw Liwa Dawud as a fifth-column element, Abboud also made frequent meetings with ISIL's leadership in 2013. After the 2013 meetings a campaign began of secret operations to sabotage other groups and it was during this period Aboud assumed leadership over Liwa Dawud. Also in 2013 Abu Ali al-Anbari met with various rebel leaders in the Idlib Governorate including Aboud and gave $2 million and weapons to Aboud and Liwa Dawud. The brigade has also been accused of assassinating Ahrar al-Sham leaders and of holding James Foley before turning him over to ISIL.

Through the course of the group's existence its members carried out assassinations against rivals and individuals who betrayed the group as part of their secret operations campaign. In early 2014 Aboud announced that Liwa Dawud was to join Jaysh al-Sham during this time he received instructions from ISIS. In July 2014 he declared his loyalty to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Liwa Dawud officially defected and the remaining members of Liwa Dawud numbering 1,000 departed to Raqqa.

Aboud along with remnants of the group fought in multiple battle for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant including the battle of Kobane and Palmyra Offensive after which some of the staff in the courts were from Liwa Dawud.

Suqour al-Sham

The group began as a subunit in Suqour al-Sham in 2012 under the leadership of Hassan Aboud and became notable for its use of IEDs against government forces on highways and seizing weapons and vehicles including tanks from the Syrian Army. While being a subunit in Suqour al-Sham the group also participated in the Battle of Taftanaz, they conducted an ambush against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and National Defense Forces near the border between the Aleppo Governorate and Idlib Governorate.[5]


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