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Problems Plague Turkey’s Proxy Coalition In Syria

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Problems Plague Turkey’s Proxy Coalition In Syria

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Several problems continue to plague the so-called Syrian National Army (SNA), Turkey’s main proxy coalition in Syria.

The SNA was formed in 2017 by a number of Turkish-backed factions. Today, the coalition rules Turkish-occupied areas in northern and northeastern Syria. The coalition is also present in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.

On April 1, the Suleyman Shah Division, one of the largest SNA factions, announced its defection from the coalition’s 1st Brigade. The group didn’t provide any explanation.

Problems Plague Turkey’s Proxy Coalition In Syria

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The Suleyman Shah Division, founded a few months into the war in Syria in 2011, is led by “Abu Amsha,” whose real name is Mohamad Jasim. The group, which participated in all major Turkish-led operations in Syria, is infamous for its criminal activities.

Abu Amsha’s announcement embarrassed the SNA’s higher command, which quickly released a statement claiming that the Suleyman Shah Division has joined the 2nd Corps. The group is yet to confirm this.

Problems Plague Turkey’s Proxy Coalition In Syria

Click to see full-size image

This problem is only one of many plaguing the SNA. Earlier this week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed that the Turkish intelligence, the main backer of the SNA, had halted the salaries of the coalition’s militants.

Dozens of SNA militants took to the street in the Turkish-occupied town of al-Bab on April 1 to demand their salaries. The issue is yet to be resolved.

The recent developments highlight the failure of the SNA project, which was meant to unify all anti-government forces in Syria. Today, the coalition is mere tool to serve Turkey’s interest in Syria. Its factions have become notorious for their criminal activities.

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