At least 198 soldiers of Turkey-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) have been killed during attacks by the PKK’s Syrian affiliate, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), terrorists since the launch of the Ankara-led anti-terror operation in northern Syria last month. According to the SNA commanders in the field, a total of 643 SNA soldiers were wounded and one soldier went missing during Operation Peace Spring. Yusuf Hammud, an SNA spokesman, told Anadolu Agency (AA) they will continue to fight YPG terrorists, who have been ignoring the agreement between Turkey and Russia on creating a safe zone. "The YPG does not comply with the agreement between Turkey and Russia. They are still attacking our frontlines and civilians in the areas liberated [from terrorists]," said Hammud. SNA soldiers continue search and sweep activities in the region, destroying improvised explosive devices (IEDs) seized from terrorists, and have been holding the frontlines, which were cleared of terrorists. The SNA is the reconfigured and broader version of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which was Turkey's partner in the field during the previous two cross-border operations of the country in northern Syria: Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch. Founded in 2011 by former officers from the Syrian Armed Forces who opposed the use of violence by the Syrian regime, the FSA was a military network that consists of many Arab, Turkmens and Kurdish subgroups and ultimately aims to bring down the Syrian regime. The SNA is basically the composition of the FSA or National Army forces with the groups affiliated with the National Liberation Front.
The aim of the SNA is to bring together various opposition groups to operate under one command within a regular, professional army. It also aims to clear terrorist elements from Syria and provide order in the liberated areas in order to turn the province into areas that displaced refugees can safely return.
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