Army of Islam
On September 29, 2013 forty-three Islamist rebel battalions pledged alliance to Liwa al-Islam commander Sheikh Zahran Abdullah Alloush (or Alwash) and joined forces to create the Army of Islam (Jaish Al Islam).
The Liwa al-Islam YouTube channel broadcast video of the swearing-in ceremony. The meeting was held in some huge industrial hall with some 100 delegates present. The Army of Islam banner follows the design of the Liwa al Islam banner. The coalition shares its name with a Gaza-based US-designated terrorist organization.
- بيان تشكيل جيش الاسلام (Statement of the formation of the Army of Islam) 4m13s x 2
- 43فصيل عسكري يقدمون البيعة للقائد الشيخ زهران علوش قائدا لجيش الاسلام (providing military faction allegiance to the leader Sheikh Zahran Alwash commander of the Army of Islam) 13m23s x 2
- كلمة أهل الحل والعقد في تشكيل جيش الإسلام (Word of the people of the solution and the contract in the formation of the Army of Islam) 17m18s x 2
On November 22, 2013, the Army of Islam merged with a number of other relevant fighting groups and formed the Islamic Front with Zahran Alloush as its "Military Commander".
10.11.2015 Zahran Alloush is reported killed; video appears to show the funeral (25.12.2015: video is no longer available; no definite information on the November incident, either) Coincidently, on 25.12.2015 Alloush was finally really killed.
As of April 2016, the leader of Jaish al-Islam is Issam Buwiydani.
Zahran Alloush was the son of an exiled Salafi preacher living in Saudi Arabia, jailed for his own "salafist activisties," reports Syria Deeply, but was released in 2011, after which he quietly formed a militant group late in the year. This he named Liwa al-Islam (flag / Brigade / district of Islam)  (note: Syria Deeply says brigade, but Liwa equates to the Turkish Sanjak (wp) for flag, also meaning "district").
Zahran's close relative Mohammed Alloush studied marketing in Saudi Arabia, and then Islamic banking in Lebanon, "but he dropped out before completion, joining Jaish Al Islam," apparently in 2012, when they started receiving Saudi Arabian funding, Gulf News reports. "(Mohammed) was the founder of underground cells in Douma, 10-km northeast of Damascus, and rose in rank quickly to become a member of Jaish Al Islam’s Political Bureau."  (In March, 2016, Mohammed would be selected, at Saudi insistence, as the chief negotiator for the Western-and-Saudi-backed High Negotiating Commiittee heading what's supposed to be peace talks with the Syrian government.)
The first major public actions of Liwa al-Islam were in July 2012, with bomb assassination of top military officials in Damascus. They continued to grow in power over the next year before their merger into Jaish al-Islam in September, 2013.
- Army of Islam Officially Announced in Syria – Israel National News, 9/29/2013
- ‘Army of Islam’ Coalition Established in Syria – Dalit Halevy, Maayana Miskin, Israel National News, 9/29/2013
- Forty-three Islamist groups unite to create Army of Islam as battle for Syria continues
- Insight: Saudi Arabia boosts Salafist rivals to al Qaeda in Syria – Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Reuters, October 1, 2013
- Leader of Largest Rebel Group in Syria: Let's Bring Back Omayyad Caliphate & Crush the Magi's Heads, Zahran Alloush in his own words, English subtitles by Eretz Zen, uploaded October 2, 2013
- The Army of Islam: Saudi Arabia’s Greatest Export – Phil Greaves, October 5, 2013,
- The Army of Islam Is Winning in Syria – And that's not necessarily a bad thing – Hassan Hassan, Foreign Policy, October 6, 2013
- Zahran Alloush: His Ideology and Beliefs, Joshua Landis, December 15, 2013
- Лидер Армии Ислама ликвидирован в одном из бункеров ИГИЛ (The commander of the Army of Islam eliminated in one of the ISIL bunkers) - October 2, 2015
- (Translated): Zahran Alloush was eliminated together with a number of ISIL leaders in their bunker in the area Maarrat al-nu'man, Idlib province.... Yesterday, 1 October, Syrian group Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam), which is funded by Saudi Arabia declared war on Russia for its support of President Bashar al-Assad. ... apparently the leader of the group went on a visit to the brothers of the ISIS, where it was destroyed by a Russian rocket." No English sources seem to support or refute this claim.
- Media report: "Jaish al-Islam" group has chosen a new commander after the liquidation of the former one, TASS (Rus.), quoting Al Mayadeen, Dec 25, 2015. His name (in a transliteration from a Russian report) is Abu Himam Buyadan.
- Jaish al Islam executed captured Syrian pilot whose SU 22 plane crashed or was shot down near Damascus -Rusvesna, July 2, 2016; Almasdar news, 1 July, 2016.
- Into the Tunnels - The Rise and Fall of Syria’s Rebel Enclave in the Eastern Ghouta, Aron Lund, December 21, 2016
SyrianGirl on Facebook:
- Syria: More than 40 insurgent groups the most significant of which being Liwa Al islam in Syria merge to form "Islamic Army". This came after 13 militant groups including many core "FSA" joined with Jabhat al Nusra to rejected the SNC "Syrian National Coalition" puppet regime in Turkey and formed an "Islamic unity under Sharia law" a day ago. US puppet regime has virtually lost all influence over the insurgency.
- The Death of Zahran Alloush, Aron Lund, December 25, 2015
- Rebel commander responsible for Adra massacre killed in missile attack on Douma, Chris Tomson, Al Masdar, April 24, 2016