Eagles of the Whirlwind
|Eagles of the Whirlwind|
نسور الزوبعةParticipant in the Syrian Civil War
Eagles of the Whirlwind logo
|Leaders||Ali Haidar, General Secretary SSNP|
|Area of operations||Syria, Lebanon|
|Part of||Syrian Social Nationalist Party|
|Opponent(s)|| Free Syrian Army |
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
|Battles and war(s)||Syrian Civil War
The Eagles of Whirlwind (Arabic: نسور الزوبعة, Nusour al Zawba'a) are the armed wing of the Syrian Social National Party. Around 6,000 to 8,000 men strong, they have participated in many battles and operations throughout the Syrian Civil War fighting alongside the Syrian Arab Army and its allies and participating in various military operations.
After the escalation of the crisis in Syria to an armed conflict and later full-scale civil war, the Eagles largely grew and their fighters were primarily deployed in the governorates of Homs and Damascus and were said to be the most formidable military force other than the Syrian Arab Army in Suweida.
Their most notable military operations is their participation in the battles of Sadad, Ma'loula, al-Qaryatayn, among others, and most notably the Rif Dimashq offensive, code named Operation Damascus Steel, in which they, with the aid of the Syrian Arab Army and allied militias, with Russian air support advanced on Eastern Ghouta, a formerly major rebel stronghold and their foothold in the capital since 2013. Party officials say its membership has increased "by the thousands" since the start of the war as a result of its alleged "reputation as an effective fighting force in Syria".
The Eagles of Whirlwind primarily recruit Eastern Orthodox Christians from Lebanon and increasingly, Syria (although fighters from all religious backgrounds have been attracted to its secular, Syrian nationalist outlook). Lebanese fighters are included in their ranks, even though the party claims that "their proportion within the group’s total fighting force has decreased steadily, as more Syrians sign up".
The eagles are the armed wing of the SSNP and thus share the same ideologies and goals. The SSNP's core ideology is Syrian nationalism and the belief in the concept of a 'Greater Syria' or 'Natural Syria' which extends from the Taurus range north of Syria to the Suez Canal in Egypt, thus encompassing the modern boundaries of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Palestine, Israel and parts of Egypt and Turkey.
Despite the fact that their beliefs contradict that of Syria's ruling Baath part which focus on Arab nationalism and believe in a united Arab homeland, the SSNP and its armed wing has stood by the Syrian government.
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