The Sunni al-Fajr Forces Fight with Hezbollah in Lebanon

Publication: Terrorism Focus Volume: 3 Issue: 31
August 8, 2006 12:04 PM Age: 9 yrs
Category: Terrorism Focus, Brief, Middle East

Despite calls and fatwas by some Sunni groups forbidding the fight alongside Hezbollah, the Lebanese Sunni Islamic resistance has joined Hezbollah in fighting the Israeli intervention. The biggest Islamic Sunni movement in Lebanon, Jamaa Islamiya, is fighting alongside Hezbollah to fend off Israel's incursion into Lebanon, sending the al-Fajr Forces (Dawn Forces), its military wing, to engage in combat with the Israeli Defense Forces. According to Faisal Mawlawi, a prominent Islamic scholar and the chairman of Jamaa Islamiya in Lebanon, "it is time Sunnis participate in the defense of Lebanon as they do in Palestine. They have been marginalized for decades because the circumstances weren't suitable for everyone to participate in the honorable resistance" (http://news.maktoob.com/?q=node/29774, July 26).

 

Sheikh Ibrahim al-Masri, the deputy chairman of Jamaa Islamiya, revealed the presence of Jamaa Islamiya's military wing in some Lebanese southern villages; al-Fajr Forces are operating jointly with Hezbollah in some locations and separately in others. Al-Masri did not specify the size of the al-Fajr Forces, but he reiterated that they mainly operate near the Israeli-Lebanese border in Arqoub, Shabaa, al-Habariya and Kafr Shuba villages. On the western side of the border with Israel, al-Fajr fighters are active in Marwahin, al-Bustan and al-Dhairah villages (Islam-Online.net, July 28). In addition, the al-Fajr Forces are present in the suburbs of Saida city. Al-Masri added that Jamaa Islamiya was founded in 1975 as a political entity. As a result of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, Jamaa Islamiya established its own military arm called Tanzim al-Mujahideen (the Mujahideen Organization) that deployed and controlled some villages in southern Lebanon after Israel's pullout in 1985. Later, they handed those villages back to the Lebanese regular army and dismantled Tanzim al-Mujahideen. In 1990, Jamaa Islamiyya established a new military wing called the al-Fajr Forces and joined sides with Hezbollah in liberating the remaining Lebanese southern territories (Islam-Online.net, July 28). They remained active until Israel pulled out completely from Lebanon in May 2000.

 

Concerning the military capabilities of the al-Fajr Forces, al-Masri said al-Fajr is a self-funded group with limited weaponry, automatic rifles and mortar canons. Militarily, the al-Fajr Forces are no match for Hezbollah, which is why they abide by the latter's decisions pertinent to armed resistance operations in the battlefield (http://www.muslm.net/vb/showthread.php?t=168025, August 2). In light of the conflicting fatwas about cooperation with Hezbollah in the fight against Israel, it is not clear whether more Sunni Jihadists will seek to join Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.


 
 

    Publications 

     
     
     

    Donate to Jamestown 

    Support Jamestown

     
     
     

    Events 

    Breaking News:

    Russia’s Military Challenge to the Baltics, the US and NATO

    April 17, 2015 03:30 PM

    On Friday, April 17, 2015, The Jamestown Foundation hosted Rasa Jukneviciene, the former Minister of Defense of the Republic of Lithuania, and Major General Jonas Kronkaitis, former Chief of Defense...


    Cat: Event
    go to Archive ->
     
     
     

    Media Appearances 

    BBC Arabic Interviews Glen Howard and Kathryn Basinsky

    April 17, 2015

    President Glen Howard and Assistant Editor of Militant Leadership Monitor Kathryn Basinsky were interviewed by BBC Arabic on the Tsarnaev brothers and lone-wolf terrorism.

    Category: Media Appearance

    New York Times Quotes President Glen Howard

    April 16, 2015

    Glen Howard discussed the current personnel changes at the Voice of America and how this impacts U.S. international broadcasting with the New York Times.

    Category: Media Appearance

    Previous Articles
     
     
     

    Connect with us