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Free Syrian Army Groups In Idlib Will Unite Into Turkish-backed Force – Report

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Free Syrian Army Groups In Idlib Will Unite Into Turkish-backed Force – Report

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Several Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups in Idlib governorate are planning to merge their forces and to establish a unified armed group backed by Turkey soon, the Syrian opposition news outlet Enab Baladi reported on May 12.

According to Enab Baladi, the new Turkish-backed group will be led by the Sham Legion and will include several FSA groups previously backed by the US, including the Free Idlib Army, Jaysh al-Izza, Jaysh al-Nasr and the 1st Coastal Division.

Observers believe that this step is aimed at expanding Turkey’s influence in Idlib governorate to counter the biggest two forces there, the former branch of the al-Qaeda in Syria – Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Syrian Liberation Front (SLF). Enab Baladi already confirmed that these two forces will not be a part of the new Turkish-back group.

In February, Turkey resumed its financial support to several FSA groups in Idlib governorate, according to Syrian opposition sources. The Sham Legion also received finical and military support from Turkey since the beginning of this year.

Syrian pro-government activists doubted that this Turkish plan will work because most of FSA groups involved in this project are already well-known for their excelling relations with HTS. The Sham Legion itself has used Turkish-supplied weapons to support more than two attacks of HTS against the SAA over the last three months.

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  • Smaug

    I wondered how long it would take for a dominant power to emerge in Idlib, there’s a sense that anything resembling a government would be better for the general public than the pseudo-anarchy that has so far persisted. By the looks of it this may be the first step of Turkey incorporating Idlib into their new Afrin based satellite state.

  • gustavo

    Well, terrorists and their supporter join together, it is not a surprise for anybody.

  • Serious

    I said before that FSA in north Syria is supported by Turkey and south FSA is supported by USA. HTS, al qaeda, … are supported by CIA and mssad.
    There is no FSA. Turkey and USA are using the dumb stupid sunnis to grab syrian land and the so-called syrian ally named Putin is collaborating with USA, israel and Turkey.

    Well done. That’s fucking great. XD.

    Assad is weak. Putin is a traitor. israel and USA and psychopatic murderers and terrorists. Sunnis are scumbag stupid shit.

    This war can’t be win.

    • Mustafa Mehmet

      You should go and help Assad .st of making comment

  • Willing Conscience (The Truths

    What a joke this article is, does anyone fall for this confusing trash?
    Erdogan formed the SLF last year after he convinced numerous rag tag rebel groups that were losing badly to the SAA, to coalesce into just one fighting force. These groups were on the verge of losing all their southern territory in Idlib to the SAA, but Erdogan saved them by erecting 2 additional OB posts, [that weren’t in Putin’s agreement] right between the warring parties. This effectively stopped the SAA advances in their tracks, and the SAA packed up and went to Ghouta to wipe out HTS instead. This convinced those groups that were losing badly to the SAA, as well as several others, to put there differences aside, and fight under just one banner to more effectively coordinate their efforts.
    Erdogan was unable to convince HTS to join his new SLF but he did manage to form an alliance/truce with them that lasted until some of his murderous SLF fighters started killing HTS fighters, and now the 2 groups are engaged in a full scale war with each other, as well as the SAA.
    Erdogan has 2 proxy armies fighting in Syria now, the FSA fights mainly in Aleppo province as part of the Euphrates shield operation and the SLF fight mainly in Idlib as an EXTENSION of the Olive branch operation, though the first HTS fighters were killed by the SLF in Aleppo so they’re slightly intermingled.
    I believe the FSA groups this article is talking about, are reluctant to join their comrades in Aleppo, preferring to fight the SAA [and probably HTS] in their own homelands, but are also reluctant to join the SLF in Idlib where they’re both fighting the SAA, for whatever unobvious reasons [they stole my sisters goat]. By doing this Erdogan will be able to coordinate both forces in Idlib more effectively against the SAA, and also stop any possibility of these particular FSA groups switching allegiance’s to HTS, as some of them are prone to doing. There’s only one difference between the FSA and the SLF, Erdogan backs both of them on the ground but only offers air support to the FSA, but that’s just about the only difference.

    • s Slippy

      Well written brother!

  • SnowCatzor

    These groups will never remain allied for long, they never do. All Sunni jihadist groups are constantly fracturing and turning against each other, which is exactly why Israel and US like them – it keeps them weak. Fortunately in case it also benefits the SAA.