The primarily Druze province of Suwayda' in southern Syria features a large number of auxiliary factions that are largely responsible for managing internal security. These auxiliary factions vary in their political orientations. Today I focus here on one such group called the 'Faz'at Fakhr Group' ('Help of Pride Group').
The group, which is led by Abu Amir Osama 'Alabi, was formed on 25 July 2018 during the Islamic State's attack on the eastern countryside of Suwayda' province that led to the killing of more than 250 people. The group thus participated with the rest of the factions of Suwayda' in repelling the Islamic State attack. The group's members have also participated in other battles defending the localities of the province both more recently (e.g. the defence of al-Qrayya) and in the more distant past (e.g. the defence of al-Tha'ala).
The group currently acts as an auxiliary against any military operation conducted against the borders of Suwayda' and answers calls from locals for help when it comes to incidents of kidnapping and theft. For example, the group participated with other factions in freeing a sheikh who had been kidnapped by gangs in Deraa, recovered a stolen truck that was carrying a load worth 50 million Syrian pounds, and freed two military personnel who had been kidnapped for a month by gangs. The group has also returned more than one stolen car to the rightful owners.
Officially, the group is not affiliated with any body, but is supportive of the Syrian government and the official security and military forces in its orientation. The group is also self-financed. I highlight the following statement issued by Abu Amir in October 2020 on the group's outlook:
'In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Statement of Faz'at Fakhr:
We Faz'at Fakhr have taken on our shoulder participation with the noble ones of the homeland in protecting the land and honour and our flag:- the flag of the Syrian Arab Republic- and the flag of Tawheed and all the symbols of the heavenly sects.
And we have issued the following clauses to be the basis of our work:
1. Any attack on any village in Jabal al-Arab [Suwayda'] is an attack on all the Jabal.
2. Preventing the fitna that compels us to infighting under the pretext of holding to account the brigands.
3. We are under the banner of the Syrian flag and supporting any military operation that the Syrian Arab Army conducts against any aggression on the homeland, and we are not affiliated with any side.
4. All the sons of the Jabal are our sons and our brothers, and holding to account those who go outside the law falls on the shoulder of the security and judicial authorities since among their responsibility is protecting the respect of the state.
5. Faz'at Fakhr will be a help for any region or village upon which injustice has fallen within the borders of the Jabal.
6. The arms of Faz'at Fakhr are from our own money. They will be hellfire upon all who dare to attack the land of the homeland in general.
7. We will be in any battle, competency and mission we are entrusted with and called to.
Leader of Faz'at Fakhr.'