The Roots of the Free Syrian Army
After the Syrian revolution began in 2011, groups of Syrian Army soldiers defected, refusing orders to shoot unarmed civilians who were protesting the Assad regime’s brutality. Instead, they decided to protect their communities. These defectors, along with civilian fighters, formed the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The Free Syrian Army is a national coalition of affiliated armed
rebel groups. The FSA functions more as an umbrella organization than a traditional military command and is principally organized around provincial military councils, which bring together previously independent militias and brigades. Independent and semi-independent militias also operate under the guise of the FSA.