More than 500 former fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) will be redeployed from southern Syria to the northern Hama countryside on August 25 in the framework of the ongoing preparations of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) for the upcoming military operation in northern Syria, the Syrian news outlet Enab Baladi reported on August 23.
According to the pro-opposition news outlet, the fighters are now a part of the SAA’s 5th Corps and they are commanded by Ahmad al-Awdah, who was the commander of Shabab al-Sunnah. Al-Awdah is well-known for his strong relations with the UAE and the Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee (HNC).
Last month, these fighters participated in the SAA attack on the ISIS-affiliated Khalid ibn al-Walid Army in the western Daraa countryside and managed to neutralize the terrorist group within two weeks.
The deployment of this force indicates that a part of the Syrian opposition and its supporters are pleased with the upcoming military operation in northern Syria. These sides are likely looking to eliminate the former branch of al-Qaeda in Syria, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which destroyed most of the FSA over the last three years.