Sunday 17 November 2013

Captured Jabhat Al-Nusra Administrative Documents Show Details Of Arms, Foreign Fighters

The following images were sent to me by the photographer Victor Lacroix, and show documents captured by the YPG, operating near Ras al Ein, from Jabhat al-Nusra.  It includes images from three administrative documents showing weapons distributed, a register of Syrian fighters, and a register of foreign fighters.   Full translation of these documents can be found here.

This first document contains a list of weapons, ammo, and equipment distributed to Jabhat al-Nusra fighters.  Whoever has been filling this in has been rather inconsistent with the details they are providing, with page 7 listing the exact type of weapon in the "Kind of Weapon" field, while pages 8 and 9 only lists the serial number.  It also lists a number of unusual names for the weapons, such as ashrawiya, sarookh, etc.  My translator contacted a number of former Syrian army soldiers, who told him they were mostly names used for variants of the AK-47
Ashrawiya: literally: of ten = AK-47 with the number 10 carved on its side.
Sarookh: literally: rocket =    AK-47 with a rocket-like shape carved on top of the weapon.
German: = AK-47 with a folding stock to the side (the stock is bent to the side of the weapon, not under it)
Naqeera (or maybe faqeera): very unusual name, maybe used by non-Syrians
Swaqi: very unusual name, maybe used by non-Syrians
You'll also note the first names of the men receiving the weapons as followed by names such as al-Ansari and alTunisi.  These appear to be references to where they are from, so al-Tunisi would be Tunisia, al-Ansari is a Syrian, al-Jazrawi is Iraqi, etc.  It seems likely al-Tamimi and al-Shummari refer to tribal names that extend across various borders.

The next set of documents are registers of foreign and local Jabhat al-Nusra fighters.  Translated versions of these documents can be found here

This lists the name of the member, including where they are from, the date they joined, their speciality, marital status, financial status, their health, and additional notes.  We can see there's a mix of fighters from Tunisia, Bahrain, Turkey, Iraq, and Syria, with a variety of specialities from baking, car bombs, nursing, Sharia law, and media expertise.  About a quarter of the men are married, and the majority appear to have "bad" finances.

Thanks to Aaron ZelinPieter Van Ostaeyen, and Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi for help with this piece.

You can contact the author on Twitter @brown_moses or by email at


  1. I've been waiting for all the comments claiming bias in the above article, and the preceding one. Not a sausage.

    Have the Hasbara moved on?

    It sounds as if men are joining the fight for lack of any economic alternative, as well as the lack of political alternatives. I think it's quite likely that something's going to break soon in terms of both the regime and the moderate opposition's capacity to fund the war effort.

    Which actually makes the administrative intelligence from islamist militia groups important: their financial resources are probably key to the continued fighting.

  2. what a nice photography!! I like it very much . messschieber.

  3. You might want to turn on pre-approval of comments.