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Turkish-funded Syrian National Army And Myth Of United Syrian Opposition

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Turkish-funded Syrian National Army And Myth Of United Syrian Opposition

Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring once again drew wide attention not only to the so-called Kurdish question, but also to attempts of Ankara to create a unified Syrian opposition as an alternative to the Assad government. According to official Turkish statements, the goal of the operation is to secure the southern Turkish border defeating “the terrorism” and allow up to 2 million of refugees to return to their homes. Nonetheless, there are no doubts that the operation, like previous military actions in the provinces of Aleppo, Lattakia and Idlib, will be used by Turkey to expand its own influence.

The Turkish-based Syrian Interim Government headquartered and Turkish-affiliated militant groups would be used as a tool of projecting Turkish military and political influence in the area. The Syrian National Army (SNA) are a brand of militant groups participating in the northeastern Syria offensive. Turkey’s Operations Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield demonstrated that the main goal of such groups is to serve as cannon folder on first line of the battle, while aircraft, battle tanks, artillery and special forces units of the Turkish Armed Forces do the main work. This allows Ankara to pretend that its actions in Syria are not military occupation, but a move needed to return the territory to the moderate Syrian opposition that opposes the ‘illegitimate regime’ of President Bashar al-Assad.

In the area of Greater Idlib, Turkish-backed factions formed the National Front for Liberation in May 2018, which was promoted as a moderate opposition coalition that would limit the influence of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other al-Qaeda-linked groups. Despite claiming to have 70,000 fighters (sic), the coalition immediately lost a struggle for power to its al-Qaeda counterparts and became a subordinate to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. In 2018 and 2019, groups from the National Front for Liberation repeatedly participated in al-Qaeda operations against the Syrian Army.

In northern Aleppo, Ankara was more successful because the SNA formed in December 2017 operates only in the Turkish Army area of operations and much more depends on the logistical and supply infrastructure created by Turkish special services. Since its creation, the SNA has included 30 groups with lofty names like the Army of Elite or the First Brigade Command and a very few trained personnel. Despite this, the formation, according to different estimates, includes from 15,000 to 25,000 fighters. Its members participated in Operation Olive Branch and successfully continued receiving salaries ($300-400 per month) after it. Now, they are involved in the operation in northeastern Syria.

Just a few days ahead of the start of Operation Peace Spring, Turkey attempted to unite the National Front for Liberation and the Syrian National Army. On October 4, the groups even released a statement claiming that they had merged. A few hours after the release, fierce clashes between the groups erupted over properties seized in the Afrin area. This put an end to the unification efforts at least for now.

Another problem is that the Turkish-based Syrian Interim Government and especially its Defense Ministry have no real influence on SNA detachments because it had no levers of influence over funds, weapons, ammunition or even orders that they receive. The full control over these sides of the SNA life allows Ankara to successfully manipulate them, when these groups are needed to some military action. At the same time, this approach undermines attempts to create a unified command to manage these groups because commanders of these groups are constantly engaged in an internal struggle for control over weapons and money flow from their Turkish backers.

This explains why immediately after the end of the active phase of Operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch, the SNA dispersed into competing armed groups mostly concerned by looting properties in the seized areas and protecting racketeering of local business and markets. Therefore, the Turkey-controlled part of northern Syria was turned into a safe haven for drugs and weapons trafficking, and organized crime. Turkey’s iron hand once again turned competing gangs into a united force under the SNA brand for Operation Peace Spring. However, as soon as, the active phase of operation ends, the Turkish-controlled part of northeastern Syria will experience consequences similar to those faced by territories captured by Turkish-led forces in 2016-2018.

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  • Vince Dhimos

    Thank you for this much-needed information. I hope you can let us know what Russia is doing to counteract all this. I recently read a report from Avia.pro in Russian claiming Russian Su-35s had intercepted 2 Turkish fighter jets and prevented them from attacking Kurds over Syria.

  • MADE MAKER

    It seems like Turkey got wild dreams of Capturing Syrian Land close to it`s Boarder…Trust them No

  • Jens Holm

    Thats no Turkish thing only. It has been going on since and even before the fightings began. ISIS fx could send fuel to any and even Assad and tat well documented by older maps and in writings from well oriented sources of local as well as international origin.

    It seemes forgotten how many supporters there was for anti-Assad incl. the arabic ones supporting any kind of jihadisme. its also forgotten, that Assads let busloads come to include greater parts of southern resistent Syria in his Dicatiorship for that price.

    Its probatly true Assads as well as ErdoGhandi see a solution is theose Jihadist kill each other and a lot of children with or without white helmets are killed too, becaue they pretend to be americans in that nasty outfit.

    None should blame Turks only for that relative fiasco. I blame Turks for taking Afrin. It was a well organized safe haven for several 100.000.

    And now – as the article says – a non safe area of the worst populated by greedy little Jihadists of the worst kind and some few sober ones. And of course I forgot the civile in the UN helped big camps. My excuse is everybody else in the whole region care less then me,

    Look babies are camouflaged American and Brittish dwarfs. And if not they are Zionist midgets.

    That how Your world is.

    And as usual Kurds are the blamed ones for it too. No change in ME unless You go back in time and not only to Ottomans. Victory for Bashir again back to good old days og his father with no opposition alive. Which one is Hesbollah in Lebanon? Easy, they all have only one leg.

    And where are the real Syrians: Well in Turkey,Lebanon, Jordan and Europe.

    There we go …

    Only blame Turks for, what they do, and thats a lot. But dont forget Yourself and Your 1001 holy arabic nights of bad excuses for, what You do and dont.

    O partly see it here in Denmark. Even we have supported Americans well in Syria as well as ourpolitisions of course wont take ISIS members, whichlived here, back. Our part of it – NOT MINE – is hardly mentioned.

    Al is about Kurds being treated bad by Trump and Erdo. I can only see the evilness is winning.

    I see not a single sign for almost all here having any ntensions and vocubulary for any solutions for peace aprt from all of You think, You will win.

    Very expensive victory. The fewer and fewer the next decades will live as bums in ruins and tents.

    I also know why women in Your region has no human rights. In Your religion, they are not human unless You can put them in as human shields with YOUR 12 children almost having expensive girls for sale and You will loose money. Thats how You manipulate west.

    • Tommy Jensen

      Ok except for the last section. Danish women are more suppressed than many muslim women.
      Freedom for Danish women is the freedom to be without responsibility on public funding and promotion.

  • Hide Behind

    The use of mercenaries has always been an accepted part of warfare and used to create an enlargement of States military power, the US itself could of never gained Indepence without mercenaries.
    There can be no doubt that to this date the US excells in the use of mercenary forces to expand until its control is over 130 nations and that many a Nation State today are but resources and extensions of its miliary industrial power, NATO nations being the most valuable of mercenary assets.
    The use of a small portion of indigenous peoples within a nation to overthrow or control policies of their Nation is an example of use of mercenary forces, but those used as such are on the whole a lot more sophisticated than the largely African trials and Islamics used as shock troops.
    Most mercenary forces used in past were part of and under control of National militaries, adjunct forces.
    The use of Kurds in Iraq and Syria Syria are todays best example.
    And now that US and Europe have destroyed two nations , placed once thriving nations into permanent beggary, their use of and needs of Kurd Mercenaries is coming to an end, but they will always remain as a disruptive groups in those nations.
    Where Turkey and US realy f’d up was in supporting uncontrollable forces drawn from lowest common denominator Islamics, paid havoc shock troops, who recognized no authority other than the paymaster and some cultish religious figureheads.
    These mercenary shock troops are incapable of fighting organized sovereign forces, and setting in place an organized governing body of longevity and once their use as chaos was done are in process of being destroyed by old paymasters.
    The conflicts between Syria and Turkey and Kurds who will have issues with both for generations to come makes destruction of a strong Syria on national scene completed.
    Turkey as a US NATO mercenary asset in helping disruptive forces in Syria, will now be rewarded with Syrian land, and it will be a forward post in its want to destroy Kurds and a means lesson to its own Domestic Kurds.
    Did US fail, only partially; it remains to be seen how much influence US and European financials gain in rebuilding Syria.

    • Tommy Jensen

      The most important outcome of the Syrian war is that Assad is forced to take out IMF and ECB usury loans to the re-building of Syria.

      So we in the West can force Assad to give the Syrian population democracy and the same green LBGT freedom values as we have in West so Syria is no longer a dictatorship.

      Then everything would have been worth it!

      • Xoli Xoli

        Very true conspiracy loans.

    • Xoli Xoli

      Excellent indeed.Very informative.

  • Smith Ricky

    Erdoscum

  • Sadde

    -3:02 most stupid training ever seen

  • Xoli Xoli

    Just as SDF is not acceptable in Syria so will it be to Turkey National Syrian Army.Turkey cannot form a army of its interest in a sovereign state that is saboteurs and terrorists or defectors creation.

  • GAguidestones

    The Turks just want control over Lattakia, to corner their tobacco market. The Turks already sell some of the best tobacco pipes in the world, Many pipe smokers. like me, believe that Lattakia tobacco is one of the world’s best. When you got the pipes you need the tobacco too.

  • Ronald

    Erdogan is bad, but not as bad as the Queen War Monger.