Late on May 7, heavy clashes erupted between the Turkish-backed Ahrar al-Sham Movement and the Free Military Police, a law-enforcement body supported by Turkey, in the occupied area of Afrin in northern Aleppo.
According to the Jesr Press, the clashes started when members of the Military Police insulted a militant of the Ahrar al-Sham Movement. The group responded by launching an attack on police posts in the district of Achrafieh in Afrin’s city center. Heavy weapons were used in the attack.
The Turkish-backed al-Shamiya Front intervened in an attempt to end the clashes. However, Ahrar al-Sham attacked the group’s personnel, and captured at least one of them. In response, al-Shamiya’s militants stormed several positions of Ahrar al-Sham in Afrin city and its outskirt in cooperation with the Military Police.
According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), several Turkish-backed militants were injured in the clashes.
While the clashes came to an end in the early morning of May 8, tension between Ahrar al-Sham and the Military Police in Afrin is still high.
Infighting is very common among Turkish-backed militants in northern and northeastern Syria. Turkey does not usually intervene, likely to maintain good relations with all of its proxies.
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