On April 18, four units of al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the de-facto ruler of the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, entered the town of Bosoufane in the Turkish-occupied area of Afrin.
HTS units were on a mission to establish positions in the town, which is located on the frontline with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Kurdish forces in northern Aleppo.
The attempt to occupy the town was met with anger from Turkish-backed militants. The National Front for Liberation (NFL) deployed reinforcements in the town. Militants from the two sides engaged in what was called a “fest fight”.
The stand-off between HTS and the NFL in Bosoufane came to an end when the SAA shelled the militants gathered in the town. No losses were reported.
According to the Sham Network, HTS claimed that its militants were only attempting to reinforce the town. However, the group was indeed trying to capture the town in order to open a direct smuggling route with Kurdish forces, which control a strip of land south of Afrin.
“HTS has been planning to advance towards Bosoufane, which is controlled by units from the NFL, for several months now,” the network said in a report. “The goal is to open a contact point for smuggling between its areas and the areas held by the [Kurdish] Syrian Democratic Forces.”
HTS attempt to enter Bosoufane is an example of how the group is constantly working to expand its influence in Syria. Turkey, which occupies Afrin and maintains a large force in Greater Idlib, does not appear to mind this.
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Turkey, which occupies Afrin and maintains a large force in Greater Idlib, does not appear to mind this.
no shit what a surprise
Agreed,why bother?Hts is perfect tool.
Are we surprised by this? Turkey is up to her eyeballs in the current situation in the Middle East and Eurasia.
“Ukrainian Special Forces are recruiting Syrian mercenaries to fight in the disputed Donbass region. The American media has mostly declined to report on this event, for reasons that I’ll leave up to readers to infer. However, The Syrian Observer reported last month that Turkish special forces asked Syrian militants to prepare for deployment to Ukraine. Note that many of these combatants are veterans of militias and terror groups from the North Caucasus.
During feuds between the USA and Russia, Ankara typically maintains a “middle of the road” posture, not overly favoring one or the other. In a break from that lukewarm policy, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has pledged “unequivocal support” to Kiev. In addition to mercenaries, this support includes a new fleet of drones already seeing action amidst escalating violence in Eastern Ukraine.”
I’m more than just a little skeptical of this story, because even if HTS did take control of Bosoufane, HTS would still need to travel through the next town Burj Hadar, which is also in NFL held territory [I’m pretty sure it’s FSA held territory but I wont argue the point], and then after that HTS has to use a rough dirt road to get to Burj al Qas in Kurdish held territory. And up to this point it could seem plausible that HTS is trying to open a border crossing into SDF held territory, but then when you look at the map and see for yourself, you realize it’s impossible, this location can’t be used as a transit hub. And it can’t be used because there are only 2 other roads leading out of Burj al Qas, one links to Syrian Government held territory, and the other one links back to Turkish occupied territory, so there are no roads to other parts of Kurdish held territory at all in this location, it’s just a dead end location that no one could use as a trade hub. I think SF should’ve done a bit more checking on this story, and republishing it without adding a disclaimer was also a mistake, someone needs their butt kicked.