Lebanese media has reported on the conflicts among armed opposition groups operating inside Syria, providing further details bout the Muslim Brotherhood’s militia unit. According to an Al Ahkbar report:
Published Monday, August 20, 2012 They share a single goal: to topple the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. But the myriad rebel groups that have sprung up are riven by infighting about funding, weapons and even how to wage their war. The rival groups are already plotting for a post-Assad Syria, jostling for power to improve their chances at calling the shots in the future. Countless armed groups have emerged since last year, loosely coming together to form the Free Syrian Army as the uprising gradually transformed from a peaceful uprising into an armed rebellion in the face of the regime crackdown. But the FSA lacks both a clear structure and a strong central leadership. Reflecting popular concern over a lack of coordination among rebel groups, anti-regime demonstrators took to the streets on Friday under the slogan: ‘If our Free Army is united, victory is assured.’ The FSA’s command in Syria comprises 10 military councils headed by military defectors, and which brings together thousands of fighters – most of them civilians who have taken up arms and joined the insurgency. But many groups – including Islamist battalions – claim a certain autonomy from the FSA’s leadership, even if they consider themselves part of it. ‘Our leadership is independent,’ said the Muslim Brotherhood-funded Tawhid Brigade’s Abdel Qader al-Saleh, chief of operations in the northern hub of Aleppo that has witnessed some of the fiercest fighting. ‘When we decided to join the battle for Aleppo, we did not consult with the military council,’ Saleh told AFP. ‘Why should we? We have the biggest number of fighters in Aleppo and its surroundings.’ Saleh criticized the military councils’ leadership, saying he would coordinate with fighters in the field, ‘not with people sitting behind their desks.’ He also described meetings with the military councils as mere ‘coffee breaks.’ Indeed, a myriad of rebel brigades and battalions – most of them bearing Islamic names – claim responsibility for operations carried out against regime forces, in videos or statements posted on the Internet. ‘Islamist brigades get most of their funding from Qatar and Turkey,’ rebel commander Abu Mussab told AFP. The military councils, meanwhile, receive non-lethal support from Saudi Arabia, the United States and the European Union. ‘Al-Qaeda finances the jihadis, the Muslim Brotherhood fund the moderates, and the rich Saudis indiscriminately finance both,’ he added.
Read the rest here.
A post from earlier this month reported that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood had established its own militia inside Syria. A post from August 2010 reported that the Shura Council of the Syrian Brotherhood had met in Istanbul to elect Riyadh Al-Shaqfa as the organization’s new general guide, noting that Al-Shaqfa and one of his deputies belonged to the organization’s “military arm.” Several weeks later, a post reported that the new leader announced that the “truce” with the Syrian government was at an end.
This is not the first report of the Muslim Brotherhood engaging in military activity. In September 2007, a post discussed a report that “combatants” from the Lebanese Muslim Brotherhood were fighting alongside Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon and that the group’s support of Hezbollah dated back to the 1980’s. At the time, this was the only known instance of armed Muslim Brotherhood units operating openly since the 1940’s.