The National Syrian Army (NSA) will send large reinforcements to Greater Idlib to help militants there to fend off the ongoing Syrian Arab Army (SAA) offensive, the Reuters news agency reported on August 15, citing an official in the Turkish-backed group.
Formed in the Turkish-occupied areas in northern Aleppo in 2017, the NSA is seen by many local observers as Ankara’s main proxy in Syria.
“It was decided to start sending troops from the National Army starting tomorrow,” a spokesman for the NSA, Maj. Youssef Hamoud, told Reuters.
Leaders of the Hamza Division, Ahrar al-Sharqiyah and the al-Shamiya Front, the NSA’s biggest groups, confirmed that they are preparing to send reinforcement to Greater Idlib.
Despite this, opposition activists in Greater Idlib said on August 16 that the NSA has not sent any troops to the region so far. Some even suggested that this was a mere propaganda stunt.
Last May, the NSA deployed hundreds of fighters in southern Idlib and northern Hama. However, they failed to make any difference in the battlefield and withdrew back to northern Aleppo within a few weeks.