Nautasian Freedom Defence Front
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|Nautasian Freedom Defence Front|
جبهة الدفاع عن الحرية
Emblem of the Nautasian Freedom Defence Front
|Dates of operation||January 2017-12 May 2017 (as Irvadi Freedom Defence Front)|
12 May 2017-present (as Nautasian Freedom Defence Front)
|Leader||Maj. Gen Eskandar Esfandiari|
Lt. Col Khalid Ali Haydari
|Motives||Withdrawal of foreign forces from Nautasia|
Overthrow of the Ahmed Hussein regime in Kraq
Overthrow of the Rifati democratic government
Establishment of a single Islamic Collectivist Nautasian superstate.
Abolish Segregationism in South Nautasia
|Active region(s)|| Rifat|
|Major actions||Numerous suicide bombings, Crimes against life and health, attacks against civilians, assassinations, hostage taking,|
|Notable attacks||Mount Qaboun Hotel bombing, Tal Athbah bombing, 2017 General People's Senate bombing|
|Status||As of May 2017 active and growing|
|Means of revenue||Mazari Freedom Forum, Fellowship of Pan-Nautasia, Nautasian Liberation Fund|
The Nautasian Freedom Defence Front or Freedom Defence Front (Arabic: جبهة الدفاع عن الحرية Jabhat al Difae an al-Hurria; NFDF, FDF, JDH), also known as the Black Hand (يد سوداء, Ed Sawda) is a front comprising some 23 militia groups - mostly Shia and Islamic Collectivist but also but there are Sunni Muslim, Christian, and Yazidi individuals as well. Its members are drawn from across Nautasia, including Ankoren, Irvadistan, Kraq and growing numbers of Rifatis.
Formed in January 2017 originally as a solely Irvadi domestic group that aimed to overthrow the Kamel regime, following the 2017 Irvadi coup d'état and the regimes overthrow by pro-Ankoren military officers, the Front was officially recognised as a "popular militia" by the Provisional Irvadi Government in May 2017. Following its recognition, the Front replaced the Supreme Command for Jihad and Unification as the umbrella front for the 23 plus militias that fought alongside the Ankoreni forces during Operation Undeniable Victory. As a result, the Front's membership skyrocketed from an estimated 1,200 to between 41,000 to 55,000. The Front has begun to receive training and new weapons from both the Irvadi and Ankoreni armed forces.
Following the creation of the Union of Nautasian Islamic Republics, the Front transitioned into a trans-national insurgent hybrid warfare fighting force. Since, the NFDF has dispatched up to 10,000 fighters from Irvadistan to Rifat to assist the Revolutionary and Resistance Forces in the Naghbaghesset War, while analysts and intelligence agencies are reporting that the NFDF has begun to establish a clandestine presence in Mazaristan.
Following the founding of the Union of Nautasian Islamic Republics, the NFDF underwent a major restructuring, which included the end of individual militia based units, for the introduction of strict hierarchical unit structures, like a conventional military force. All sectarian, ethnic and ethno-religious based groups were disbanded, leading to the formation of mixed units. The NFDF however, did maintain a separate structure for "independently operated units" known as Cadres; this separate system was devised as a means of offering guidance to independently created NFDF cells far from NFDF communication or control. These Cadres would be primarily focused in urban environments, which the NFDF claimed was the "kindling of a revolution."
As such the NFDF is divided in two between the "Front" and "Independent Cadres."
The Front constitutes the NFDF's main force and strength. It's 50,000 fighters are arranged into brigades 5,000 strong each, granting the NFDF access to ten brigades. Its brigades operate artillery, armoured vehicles, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry. Though, Luziycan commander Piotr Kazhov described the NFDF structure as "highly modular", meaning an individual brigade could alternate between a guerilla light-infantry lay-out to a mechanised conventional force with relative ease.
Due to the NFDF's access to UNIR military equipment, the NFDF has been described as the most powerful guerilla force in the world and a "direct threat to even the most advanced conventional forces in the world", according Aininian commander, Jules-Pierre Bastien. The NFDF's officer corps is drawn exclusively from active or recently retired officers from the former Irvadi People's Defence Force, or the pre-UNIR Islamic Revolutionary Army, meaning that its officers have recent battle and command experience, due to the Irvadi Civil War.
The NFDF also reportedly utilises an identical training regime to the Islamic Revolutionary Army.
Cadres represent the individual "urban combat cells" according to NFDF documents. Though Cadres operate directly under NFDF central command, they're mostly found as independently formed cells. The Cadres which form independently are offered basic guidance by the NFDF to limit communication and direct interaction, through obscure lines of communication. The Cadres are told to consist of ten members at the most, to have zero interactions with other Cadres and to focus on "inflicting as much damage on the authority, legitimacy, stability and capability of the enemy state as possible."
Due to the NFDF strategic belief that "urban revolutions back by military action in the rural" is key to overthrowing Nautasian governments to be replaced by Islamic Collectivist states, the Cadres operate predominately in their urban strategic thinking. It is through the Cadres that the NFDF conducts terrorist activities, ranging from assassinations, bombings, gun attacks and urban guerilla attacks; although the NFDF demands a limit to civilian loss of life, it has stated that such losses are key to undermining the hostile government.
During the NFDF's campaign against the Amin Kamel regime in Irvadistan in early 2017, the Cadres were the instigators of numerous bomb attacks and assassinations. The Cadres are also tasked to secure a wider network of support for themselves and the cause, while also using those networks for intelligence. The Cadres are tasked with recruiting the support or direct membership of civil servants capable of releasing intelligence on government officials.
General Jules-Pierre Bastien described the duality of the NFDF's operating strategy as "genius, with the Cadres in the urban theatre conducing a terrorist-guerilla campaign and the Front force operating as an insurgency in the rural areas, with little to no interaction between the two, the NFDF relatively ensures a level of security that is impossible to find in most insurgencies. By dividing the two and complimenting the two, the NFDF has the strategy and tactics to conduct a bloody, long-term campaign against a hostile government."
Motives and objectives
In the online video posted on May 12 2017, the Front announced three new objectives that remain built around "three swords" (hence the use of the triangle in the group's emblem):
- Removal of all foreign forces from Nautasia; also includes the destruction of the Caliphate in Kraq.
- Overthrow of the governments of Kraq, Rifat, Siphria and East Nautarya.
- Establishment of an Islamic Collectivist superstate across Nautasia.
The group was swift to repeat the strategy it had developed for Irvadistan before the coup that removed Kamel's government. They aim to focus all efforts on Kraq in response to Aininian and Luziycan involvements set to be increased. They would take advantage of the mass discontentment towards the Hussein regime, citing corruption, sectarianism, abuses, massacres and the continued civil war and repeat the claims that they made of Kamel, insofar that Hussein has surrendered the country to the Aininians and Luziycans for his own personal survival.
Combat and terrorism
List of NFDF attributed terrorist attacks:
- Mount Qaboun Hotel Bombing: On April 5 2017, the Front conducted a suicide truck bombing on the Mount Qaboun Paradise Hotel in Qush Tepa; the hotel was a popular residence for Irvadi regime officials following the evacuation of Qufeira in 2015 in light of rapid Caliphate advances towards the city. The bombing killed 77 people, including 14 foreign nationals, of which seven were Koy. However the 63 remaining fatalities were Irvadi, including two members of the National Council for Salvation and at least 20 senior civil servants.
- 2017 Athbah Bombing: On April 8 2017, the Front conducted a car bombing of a popular cafe in the affluent suburb of Athbah in northern Qush Tepa. The bombing killed 17 people, including Finance Minister Walid Sadiqqi and close ally of Amin Kamel and businessman, Mohammad Ali Aziz and injuring 50 others. The killing of Finance Minister Sadiqqi remains the most high profile assassination in Irvadi history.
- 2017 General People's Senate bombing: On the 3 July 2017, a former Rifati Army soldier, Saddam Boulala using a explosive laden fuel truck, rammed into the lobby of the Rifati General People's Senate detonating the explosives. The bombing killed 85 people and injured 345 others, it is widely reported that the target was the Rifati executive, in order to destabilise the country. The bombing killed 28 members of Rifat's legislature, as well as numerous by-standers and several prominent reporters. The bombing deepened tensions in the Nabaghasset region.
The NFDF in late August 2017, claimed to have 50,000 fighters both active and reserve, drawn from across Nautasia. Though it has never stated where these fighters reside, whether they're paid or are volunteers who receive benefits.
Nautasian and non-Nautasian intelligence services have noted that the NFDF has direct access to the latest UNIR systems, including advanced computer encryption technology, encrypted communication systems, advanced anti-tank guided missiles and suspected access to medium-to-long range surface-to-air missiles, though this has not yet been confirmed.
According to various reports, the NFDF is armed with anti-tank guided missiles, namely, the Koy made DMS Type 3, JBDMS Type-2, DMS Type-5, as well as UNIR made GAEN-9, and the fire-and-forget infra-red homing GAEN-10X, which was seen in numerous NFDF posted videos.
The NFDF also has access to armoured vehicles, mostly identified as surplus from the Irvadi People's Defence Force, including BJC-1s, GBJ-64s, Kirdar Tilki jeeps and IPDF surplus tanks including Type 65s, though these remain small in number.
Alongside its armoured vehicles, the NFDF has access to hundreds of rocket-based artillery, including T-107 multiple-rocket launchers, YLB-40(S)s and YLB-30s, and an assortment of towed howitzers up to 155mm in caliber and mortars.