A group of 60 fighters from Turkey-led Euphrates Shield forces defected and moved to areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Manbij and to the area controlled by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the eastern Aleppo countryside.
According to pro-government sources, one of the commanders of the Sultan Murad Division, Mohammed Kheir Shlash (Abu al-Khair) was among the defectors. It later emerged that Abu al-Khair was an agent of Syrian Air Force Intelligence and was one of the first commanders of the Sultan Murad Division supported by Turkey and the United States.
Abu al-Khair established his headquarters in al-Midan and Suliman al-Halabi districts in eastern Aleppo, where he cooperated with the Tiger Forces during the “Dawn Of Victory” operation.
He played a key role in the collapse of the militants’ defense lines in eastern Aleppo. After the withdrawal from Aleppo, Abu al-Khair moved to the controlled by Euphrates Shield forces and the Turkish Army and established a headquarters in Jarablus town at the Syrian-Turkish border and became responsible for the northern part of Jarablus. According to opposition sources, Abu al-Khair was in constant contact with the Turkish governor of Gaziantep and high-ranking officers of the Turkish Army and officials from the Turkish ruling party.
Although these reports are not officially confirmed, one of the pictures shows Abu al-Khair accompanied by the leader of the Tiger Forces, Suhail al-Hasan and this can be seen as an evidence.
According to opposition sources, the commander of the Al-Arslan Regiment, Abu Ali Raslan along with 11 fighters of Sultan Murad, 9 fighters from Al-Sham Corps, 3 from Al-Safawah Battalion and two from Salahuddin Battalion fled to SAA positions, while the rest arrived to SDF-held areas in Minbij.