Gregory Waters Profile picture
Sep 4, 2018 6 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Profile for al-Komeet Forces: a #Tiger_Forces "storming unit" from Tartous led by Firas Issa (pic 1).

Group is approx company-sized (~80 men) and is the *only* known TF unit fighting IS in south Syria (now moving to Lajat).
Al-Komeet is particularly interesting bc they have close ties to both #Hezbollah and Bustan Association.

While Tigers fought IS in Reef #Aleppo in Jan 2017, al-Komeet was fighting in #Qaryatayn w/ #Hezbollah & al-Rashashat Battalion of the Bustan Association.
Firas & al-Komeet also fought with #Hezbollah in #Boukamal #DeirEzZor in Dec 2017 (pic) and likely w/ them in #Suwayda now where they cont to operate alongside Bustan’s al-Rashashat Battalion.
Despite this relative independence, Firas has deep ties to the TF. He participated in the Shaer offensive in 2014/2015 and fought alongside the Cheetahs Groups during the Aleppo offensive in 2016.
The case of multiple affiliations is not unique to al-Komeet: some #Tiger_Forces units maintained ties to the #Desert_Hawks for years, others to the #LDF, #SSNP, and several are based around extensions of the #Makhlouf clan. More on these dual affiliations in my next article.
See this thread for a short profile of the #Tiger_Forces Abu Arab Groups from #Harasta #Damascus

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More from @GregoryPWaters

Aug 8, 2018
1/8 Short thread on Dyab “Abu Arab” Afouf, commander and founder of the Tiger Forces’ “Abu Arab Groups” from Harasta, Damascus. Here he meets with Suheil on Oct 3, 2017.
2/8 According to opposition sources, Afouf’s father was a close bodyguard of Hafez Assad but was killed when he tried to run away. Dyab Afouf was reportedly known for selling drugs & alcohol in Harasta before becoming a ‘Shabiha’ then joining TF.
3/8 But what’s really interesting is his role in negotiating the surrender of Harasta in March 2018. Abu Arab Groups (made almost entirely of Damascus fighters) were sent to Harasta frontlines as early as January 6 (when most TF units were in Idlib).
Read 9 tweets
Jun 17, 2018
New thread on interesting SAA & Republican Guard facts/anecdotes I’m finding for an upcoming report. Mostly stuff from earlier in the war.
Video shows #Chechen foreign fighters in Ballermoun, Aleppo on March 17, 2014

On 3/21 rebels here killed Maj General Samea Abbas, head of the 102nd Regiment RG. On 3/25 they killed Brig General Qasi Mohammad, commander of the 415th Battalion of the 102nd.
Seems the 415th Battalion was destroyed in this battle as I can’t find any credible references to it after Qasi’s death. 102nd remained in #Aleppo until late 2017 (when deployment reports end).
Read 20 tweets
Mar 26, 2018
Robert and I spent 6 months 'inside' IS FB communities documenting their culture and strategies. We also mapped the connections between 1000 FB accounts from every inhabited continent. Full (lengthy) report to be published by @FightExtremism in early May.
We saw 1st-hand IS use FB to recruit westerners and how FB's recommended friends algorithm rapidly connects you to active IS networks. Once one IS supporter is friended, dozens from around the globe are recommended. Read this thread for just some examples:
Blatant lies by #Zuckerberg. @RobertPostings & I found dozens of public profiles of American IS supporters explicitly calling for terror attacks & using FB Live to discus how to carry out attacks. FB has done nothing to combat extremism on its platform.
Read 28 tweets
Jan 11, 2018
Thread] Timeline of events in #Harasta #Damascus. 188 reported govt deaths since 11/14. 49 officers KIA. Total deaths likely reach 300.
Phase 1: 75 reported KIA
Phase 2: 113 reported KIA
Many high ranking officers died in both offensives including 10 Generals & Colonels (more than on any other front in November & December).
Rebels claimed to have destroyed or damaged 7 tanks, 2 BMPs & 5 pieces of artillery after Phase 1.
Read 48 tweets

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