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SEPTEMBER 2020

Militants From Same Turkish-Backed Group Clash Among Themselves In Syria’s Al-Bab

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Militants From Same Turkish-Backed Group Clash Among Themselves In Syria’s Al-Bab

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Late on April 25, militants of the Turkish-backed Sultan Murad Division clashed among themselves in the town of al-Bab in northern Aleppo.

Opposition activists said two units, one led by Abu al-Taib and another one by Fadi al-Diri, clashed with each other near the youth housing complex in al-Bab and near the Abu Zindin crossing with government-held areas south of the town.

“As a result [of the clashes], at least one personal was injured,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said in a report.

The UK-based monitoring group hinted that the clashes may be related to the Sultan Murad Division’s illegal activities. The group’s militants are allegedly involved in the smuggling of goods and illegal materials to both government-held and Kurdish areas.

Such conflicts are an ordinary development in al-Bab. Last month, Ahrar al-Sharqiyah clashed with the Free Syrian Police, a law enforcement group also backed by Turkey. The conflict lasted for around a week and claimed the lives of several militants, including Ahrar al-Sharqiyah security chief.

Turkey doesn’t usually intervene in these internal conflicts, likely to avoid demonstrating that it prefers one group over others. By doing so, Ankara likely seeks to maintain balanced relations with all of its proxies in Syria.

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