On December 3, the Turkish-backed Hamza Division held an opening ceremony for a new “special forces” base in the northern Aleppo countryside.
The ceremony was attended by Abdurrahman Mustafa, head of the Syrian Interim Government, Salim Idris, the defense minister of the government, as well as commanders of the Syrian National Army (SNA) and the Hamza Division.
Majed al-Halabi, head of the Hamza Division’s media office, told the al-Mohrar Media that the new base, named “Martyr Yasser Abu Sheikh,” includes an operations room, that is directly connected with all Turkish-occupied areas in northern and northeastern Syria.
Activists revealed that the military base was located right next to the Hawar Kilis crossing on Turkish border. A number of refugee camps are located nearby.
The Hamza Division, which is led by militiaman Sayf “Abu Baker” Balud, is one of the SNA’s largest factions. It took part in all Turkish operations in northern and northeastern Syria. The faction even sent dozens of mercenaries to fight in Libya and Azerbaijan.
In the last few years, the Hamza Division became infamous for its criminal activists as well as for persecuting people in Turkish-occupied areas, especially Kurds.
In spite of its criminal record, Turkey and the Syrian opposition continue to support and foster the Hamza Division. The faction is apparently posing to become one of the main players in Turkish-occupied areas.
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