Battalions Sign Free Syrian Army’s Code of Conduct

by The North Star on October 15, 2012

Thanks to Razan Ghazzawi for this.

In light of recent events in Syria, Free Syrian Army (FSA) commanders got together and signed the new FSA code of conduct.

The document was initially published by the Local Coordination Committees (LCCs) and underlines the requirement to respect human rights and international humanitarian law including laws pertaining to the treatment of prisoners of war.

Code of Conduct of the Free Syrian Army

Article I
In the Free Syrian Army, as an independent, defected soldier, or civilian volunteer, my first responsibilities are to:

Defend Syrian revolutionaries in the face of tyranny and ensure the continuation of the revolution to oust the regime. I will direct my weapons exclusively against Assad aggressors. I will serve my nation, Syria, and the freedom of the Syrian people. I am a fighter in the battle to defend my people.

I will use my weapons to overthrow the criminal regime that has been imposed upon us.

“Dear Revolutionary, your actions reflect revolutionary morals, let’s act responsible.”

Article II
I pledge to my people and my revolution that I will refrain from any behavior or practice that would undermine the principles of our revolution: the principles of freedom, citizenship, and dignity. I will respect human rights in accordance with our legal principles, our tolerant religious principles, and the international laws governing human rights – the very human rights for which we struggle today and which we intend to implement in the future Syria.

Article III
Any person who takes up arms in the name of the regime, regardless of their rank, should be arrested and remain in the custody of the Free Syrian Army.

In the event that an individual is arrested, and it is determined that the individual was working for the regime, voluntarily or for payment, to supply information about revolutionary activists, that individual shall be considered a prisoner and treated in accordance with laws governing prisoners of war.

Article IV
I pledge not to practice any form of torture, rape, mutilation, or degradation.

I will preserve prisoners’ rights and will not exercise any of the above practices in order to obtain confessions.

Article V
I will not issue any executive orders, particularly with regard to death or corporal punishment. Only an appropriate legal authority, with relevant expertise, may conduct trials and find perpetrators guilty.

Article VI
I will not engage in any practice that leads to the physical torture or murder of prisoners or informants, and I will not participate in any public execution.

Article VII
I pledge not to engage in any form of theft or looting on the pretext that I am helping to finance the armed struggle. I pledge not to take any person hostage for ransom.

Article VIII
I pledge not to use my weapon against activists or civilians, whether or not I agree with them; and I pledge to not use my weapon against any other Syrian citizen. I pledge to limit my use of weapons to the defense of our people and myself in facing the criminal regime.

Article IX
I pledge not to exercise reprisals on the basis of ethnicity, sect, religion, or any other basis, and to refrain from any abusive practices, in word or in deed, against any component of the Syrian people.

“We want arms, not useless talk.”

Article X
I pledge to surrender my weapons to the Transitional Authority, which will manage the country’s affairs during the transitional period after the fall of the regime.

Article XI
If found guilty of violating any of these articles, I agree to submit to a fair trial undertaken by specialized committees formed under the supervision of the Free Syrian Army’s leadership and monitored by an independent judiciary body.

Signatories:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Muhannad Ahmad Al-Talaa, Commander of the Military Council of Deir Ezzor
  • Colonel Qassim Saad Eddin, Commander of the Military Council in Homs
  • Sergeant Ismail Sheikh Saleh, Jisr Al-Shoghour, Idlib
  • Lieutenant Colonel Zahid Hourani, head of the Military Office in Homs
  • Major Ibrahim Moutawaa, Commander of the Al-Nour Battalion in Qosair
  • Colonel Radwan Ayyoush, Commander of the Military Office in Homs
  • Lieutenant Colonel Jamil Ra’adoun, Commander of the League of Battalions in the Hama Countryside
  • Colonel Khaled Alqatini of Khan Sheihoun and its countryside
  • First Lieutenant Hamza Qaziz, Al-Baraa Brigade in Douma
  • The Al-Baraa Brigade in Douma
  • Major Abou Mohammad Al-Homsi, the Soldiers of God Brigade in Damascus
  • The Falcons of the Land Brigade in Hama
  • The Martyrs of Latamna Battalion
  • The Martyrs of Asi Battalion in Hama
  • The Abi Al-Fidaa Battalion in Hama
  • The Special Operations Battalion in Hama
  • The Sunna Lions Battalion in Mayadeen
  • The Omar Al-Mukhtar Battalion in Deir Baalba, Homs
  • Abdul Baset Sarout
  • Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad al-Aboud Commander of the Revolutionary Military Council in Deir Ezzor
  • Captain Mostafa Shawardi/ Ansar Mohammad Battalion in Mawrak
  • Lieutenant Colonel Hafez Jad AlKaeem Faraj Commander of the Military Council in the Governorate of Sweida
  • Lieutenant Maher al-Tamer Commander of Shuhada al-Hurriya (Martyrs of Freedom) Battalion in Mawrak
  • Al-Haq (The Truth) Battalion in Mqeilbiya
  • Burkan al-Sham (Damascus Volcano) Battalion
  • Major Qassem Najem/ Tahrir alJanoob Battalion in Daraa
  • Captain Khaled Fatehallah Commander of the Free Syrian Army in Daeel
  • Captain Ali Shakerdi/ al-Amjad Battalion in Aleppo.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian S. October 16, 2012 at 9:07 am

I guess every little bit helps, and its obviously useful to keep this sort of thing on the FSA agenda. But I am fairly sceptical about its real significance: for this to take root there would have to be some serious pay-off for the FSA fighters – at the moment all they stand to get is a couple of free mobile phones.

Reply

Pham Binh of Occupy Wall Street, Class War Camp October 16, 2012 at 10:46 am

Moral high ground and authority counts for a lot in revolutionary warfare. Considering the circumstances, the Free Syrian Army is doing pretty well on the human rights front; certainly they aren’t shooting peasants who flee from battle as the Bolsheviks did during the civil war.

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Anthony Abdo October 16, 2012 at 11:59 am

I really feel contempt for ‘socialists’ who think they can pick and choose which comments they will allow to be published in opposition to their own and which not, as North Tribe is doing. When I write in reply to this blog, I never know if my comments will arbitrarily held up ‘for moderation’ hours upon hours at a time, or whether they will go online, but possibly removed 15 minutes later or several hours later. What is all this rigamarole supposed to be accomplishing?

This list of ‘conduct’ is trash for US humanitarian imperialist liberals’ consumption, as I wrote earlier in my remarks now removed. It is not worth the paper written upon in its ability to protect anybody from the extremism of the many Islamic Right Wingers making up the ranks of the FSA. It is writ for the Western World gullible only.

How is it that the over brained marxists at North Star do not seem able to recognize the marketing of this war that they join in promoting on this blog? What type of marxist is unable to recognize ADVERTISING strategies when exposed to them? What type of marxist is it that does not understand that the FSA has a whole Pentagon load of pr men working for this client of theirs?

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admin October 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Your comments are trashed because they do not engage with the substance of the posts. This latest comment is a perfect example.

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Anthony Abdo October 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm

My comments are trashed precisely because they do engage with the substance of the material put online. The comment you trashed actually specifically linked to an article dealing with how the US was supplying Qatar and Saudi Arabia with $35 BILLION in arms per year, and that this was then becoming material being sent to the Right Wing Islamist team members of the FSA in Syria to make war. This was info per the US government and published in the New York Times this Monday of which I have seen nothing about it here in any commentary at North Star, though a few other Left sites have published commentaries about it unlike North Star. It relates to exactly how much credence we should give to any code of conduct talked about by FSA pr folk?

It really gets to me AND OTHERS that you are unable to see that you, admins, allowing your own hostility to the anti-interventionist pov, to then go and pick and choose what is supposedly relevant and what is not as if that was not a form of censorship. It definitely is. If your own pov was trashed constantly like this you yourself would be up in arms about it.

I had previously said by email, too, that I wanted to write a future commentary for North Star about what had happened to the ‘Save Darfur’- Let’s send the US and UN troops into Sudan! crew of humanitarian imperialists and you similarly had responded that the material was not current or topical, as incredible as that opinion really is! Why write anything at all when you are basically telling us that certain opinions are A-OK and others not and that you will decide which is which for us all?

Marxism is poorly promoted when self appointed ‘deciders’ can determine who and what gets published ad lib according merely to their own whims and prejudices. The whole idea of the Occupy Movement was to try to bypass this sort of thing, and North Star is certainly not doing that as of this time.

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admin October 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm

You still haven’t engaged with the substance of this post. Calling something “trash” isn’t engagement, sorry.

No more spam.

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Brian S. October 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm

@Tony: As various people keep asking you and I ask again -if there is such a huge flow of weapons from the US (or anyone) to the FSA where are they? How come government jets get to to bomb almost with impunity; that only a couple of attack helicopters have been brought down; that many FSA units have had to withdraw from their positions because they have run out of ammo; that they have had to create a backstreet arms industry to build rickety homemade mortars because its the only way they can get anything approaching heavy weaponry, while you moan because the Turkish government stops the Russians resupplying Assad.Its not even a question of engaging with the post – how about engaging with the real world for 15 minutes?

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Pham Binh of Occupy Wall Street, Class War Camp October 17, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I’m not sure it’s worth trying to engage someone who wholeheartedly supports the Central Intelligence Agency’s heavy weapons embargo on the Free Syrian Army (in the name of Marxism no less).

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Pham Binh of Occupy Wall Street, Class War Camp October 17, 2012 at 10:28 am

If you were capable of engaging this post, you would look up the brigades who signed onto this code of conduct and see if they actually abided by it. There are plenty of counter-revolutionary Arab-speakers who would be more than happy to help you with doing some research on this question. Then and only then could you legitimately describe their self-imposed code of conduct as trash, but not before.

If you knew anything about the Syrian revolution you’d know that they stopped debating the question of U.S./Western imperialist intervention months ago after it became clear there would be no military action and moved onto other topics like how to prevent revolutionary violence from getting out of hand, how to prevent human rights abuses, how to prevent looting, and how to combat the salafi elements. But instead of trying to learn what is actually going on, you decide to cut and paste Iraq-era or Darfur-era arguments about U.S. imperialism in a wholly different debate with different issues.

The onus is on you to prove that this code of conduct is not worth the paper it’s written on. I wish you the best of luck. Here’s a resource to get you started on your merry way: http://sana.sy/index_eng.html

Reply

Hollis August 18, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Pozdrav z Kolína! Nudím se v nemocnici, takže jsem se rozhodla zkusit váš blog na mém mobilním telefonu během
volna. Moc se mi libí a nemůžu se dočkat, až
se budu moct podívat na stolním počítači.
Podivuji se, jak rychle běží váš web na mém mobilním telefonu ..
A to nejsem ani na wifině, ale jen na 3G…!

Reply

northcascadian August 19, 2015 at 12:04 pm

It is clear to me that the failed “arab spring/ george soros colored revolution” that started in Syria was stopped by the volunteer Syrian army and Syrian patriots who saw the overall game plan which was to totally torch Syria and cause massive outflows of refugees. Unfortunately the volunteer Syrian Army was unable to hold off the foreign funded and foreign mercenaries and the West/Israel has succeeded in destroying beyond recognition, Syria. Now millions of war refugees are pouring out of Syria and Iraq and Turkey and Yemen and Libya and everywhere else that the masters of war want to trash. Then, seemingly “out of the blue” the refugees arrive on the border of Europe wanting in. No talking presstitude ever mentions the connection between trashing the Middle East and creating a refugee crises. Israhell’s agenda remains intact and operational: fragment and destroy all goy governments and peoples in the middle east that stand in Israhell’s way, send the refugees to Europe (not Israhell!) to fragment and destroy those cultures as well. The “left” operates as the spear tip of the elite holding out universalism and justice while in practice protecting the “tribe” and causing the utter destruction of what is left of “goy” culture.

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