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SEPTEMBER 2020

Turkish-Backed Militants Clash With Each Other Over Smuggling Route. Casualties Reported (Videos)

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Late on May 16, heavy clashes broke out between the Hamza Division and the al-Shamiya Front in the Turkish-occupied city of al-Bab.

Enab Baladi, a pro-opposition news outlet, said a disagreement on a smuggling route with government-held areas was the reason behind the clashes. The two groups used heavy weapons, including mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, in the clashes.

After a few hours of heavy clashes, the so-called Military Police, a law enforcement body backed by Ankara, brokered a ceasefire agreement between the two groups.

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), at least two militants were killed and several others were injured in the clashes. A civilian woman was also killed when Turkish-backed militants targeted her car by mistake.

Such clashes are a quite common in Turkish-occupied areas in north and northeast Syria. Disagreements over financial issues and criminal activities are usually the cause.

The Turkish military doesn’t intervene in these clashes, likely to maintain good relations with all of its proxies. However, this policy is leading to a state of lawlessness in Turkish-occupied areas.

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