Northern Homs based rebel group joins Authenticity and Development Front

A&D Front logo

On 28 March, the rebel group Jaysh al-Tawhid announced that it was joining Jabhat al-Asala wa'l Tanmiyya (the Authenticity and Development Front), a Saudi-backed nationwide coalition. Jaysh al-Tawhid (roughly meaning the 'Army of Monotheism') was formed in May of 2015, as a merger of nine smaller groups located in the 'Rastan pocket' of northern Homs. The group has mainly been active around the town of Talbisah, which the strategic M5 highway runs through.

The 'Rastan pocket.' Source.

The Authenticity and Development Front is predominantly active in Aleppo and in the Eastern Qalamoun mountain theaters, and includes the U.S. and Jordanian-backed New Syrian Army. Prior to this announcement, the A&D Front fielded approximately 5,000 fighters. It is unclear exactly how many members Jaysh al-Tawhid has. Ideologically, the A&D Front are reportedly adherents of the Salafist substrain of Madkhalism, which espouses political quietism. While the group's logo features the flag of the uprising, the Authenticity and Development Front is not affiliated with the Free Syrian Army. With this announcement, the group continues to become one of the bigger mid-sized groups operating throughout Syria.

 

Jaysh al-Tawhid's leadership, including Col. Abdelsalam al-Marai. Source

A graphic made in May 2015, explaining the creation of Jaysh al-Tawhid. Source.