FSA faction ready to join likely Turkish operation

Published 27.12.2018 00:00
Updated 27.12.2018 08:00

The Syrian opposition continues its support for Turkey as Saif Abu Bakr, Military Chief of the Hamza Division, a faction fighting under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), said on Tuesday that they are ready to participate in the likely Turkish operation east of the Euphrates to eliminate the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG).

Speaking to Yeni Şafak newspaper, Abu Bakr said the division already has about 6,500 fighters, including 1,200 Special Forces soldiers, and is waiting for instructions from Ankara to launch an offensive. The Hamza division participated in Operation Euphrates Shield, launched in August 2016 and ended in March 2017 and Operation Olive Branch, which ended earlier this year, to sweep PKK-affiliated and Daesh terrorists from northern Syria.

Abu Bakr emphasized that they aim to liberate Manbij by cleaning militants from the city, adding that they have determined points that would be possibly be used by YPG terrorists to flee.

The latest process of the restructuring of the FSA was the launch of the Syrian National Army, founded in December 2017, consisting of approximately 30 subgroups linked to the FSA. The army, which is estimated to have 15,000 soldiers, aims to protect areas that were liberated in Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch, as well as to defend civilians against the Syrian regime and groups like Daesh and the YPG.

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