Internal tenions have escalated between various groups of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which operate within the forces of the Turkish Operation Euphrates Shield (formally ended) in northern Syria.
On Wednesday, an IED targeted a headquarters of Ahrar al-Sharkia in the city of Al-Bab, killing Abu Ali al-Iraqi, one of the group’s commanders. Abu Hammam, the general commander of Ahrar al-Sharkia was injured along with Abu Hatem, the military commander of the movement, and Abu Jaafar, a field commander.
Ahrar al-Sham issued an official statement announcing that some FSA groups intends to attack its fighters in the Euphrates Shield-held areas in the northern Aleppo countryside.
Ahrar al-Sham argued that it would respond with force to any attack on its fighters or its headquarters and called on any group intends to attack them to a “Sharia Court” to resolve the disagreement.
The Al-Sham Corps, based in Idlib, announced yesterday the separation of the Northern Regiment – one of the groups of the Euphrates Shield – from it. It’s believed that the reason behind the move is financial disagreements and complaints against the behavior of the Northern Regiment in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
However, the Northern Regiment rejected the decision of Al-Sham Corps, and called for the formation of a commission of inquiry to investigate the charges against it.
Despite the increase of Turkey’s military presence in the northern Aleppo countryside, and the deployment of several checkpoints in Al-Bab city and on the nearby roads, the situation remains very tense.
Ankara has failed so far to stop infighting among militant groups operating in the area, which apparently don’t listen to their backers.