Syrian rebels build an army with Turkish help, face challenges

AZAZ (SYRIA): A "National Army" being set up through Syrian rebels with Turkey's help may just develop into a long-term obstacle to President Bashar al-Assad's recovery of the northwest - if they may be able to finish factional rivalries that have long blighted the opposition.
The effort is on the heart of plans through the Turkish-backed opposition to protected and govern a strip of territory that paperwork a part of the last large riot stronghold in Syria.

The presence of Turkish forces at the floor has helped to protect it from govt attack.

Assad, backed through Russia and Iran, has vowed to get better "every inch" of Syria, and despite the fact that he has now won back many of the nation, the Turkish presence will complicate any govt offensive in the northwest.

Turkey's role has long gone beyond supporting allied Syrian forces to rebuilding faculties and hospitals. At least 5 branches of the Turkish put up place of job have opened in the area.

Colonel Haitham Afisi, head of the National Army, says putting in the pressure has been no easy activity during the last 12 months.

"We are at the beginning. We face many difficulties but we are working to overcome them," Afisi informed Reuters in an interview in the the city of Azaz near the Turkish border.

Recently, he needed to factor an order teaching combatants to prevent "randomly opening fire", put on uniforms and cooperate with a newly established army police that represents "the force of law and justice and not a rival to any other faction".

Factions have additionally been banned from running their own jails and courts and from wearing out extra-judicial arrests.

The challenge has additionally faced attack: a number of recruits were wounded on Aug. five when their graduation rite in the town of al-Bab was shelled. Afisi stated it was the paintings of an "enemy of the revolution, be they internal or external". The perpetrator have been known, however he declined to say it who was.


The National Army compromises some 35,000 combatants from probably the most biggest factions in the struggle that has killed hundreds of 1000's of folks and forced some 11 million folks from their homes during the last seven years.

Many earlier efforts to unite the rebels have failed, obstructed through local rivalries and at times through the competing agendas of foreign states that after backed many of the rebels in the Syrian struggle.

The National Army may well be different on account of Turkey's presence at the floor.

The Turkish army driven into the northwest in two campaigns. The first, "Euphrates Shield", which were given underway in 2016, drove Islamic State from territory between Azaz and Jarablus. The 2nd, "Olive Branch", captured the adjoining Afrin area from the Kurdish YPG armed forces previous this 12 months.

The area is important to Turkey on account of what it views as the national security risk posed through the YPG, which it sees as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey.

Assad says Turkey is illegally occupying Syrian land.

"All the support for the National Army is from Turkey, there are no other states partnering in this matter," Afisi stated.

The Turkish foreign ministry did not respond to questions from Reuters.

Turkish make stronger comprises combatants' wages, logistical make stronger "and weapons if necessary". He listed three enemies: Assad, the PKK and Islamic State.

Turkey has additionally set up 12 army posts in Idlib province and adjoining areas which are situated southwest of Afrin, underneath an settlement with Russia and Iran. The said aim is to look at a "de-escalation" settlement in the Idlib area.

Assad has indicated Idlib may well be his subsequent target.

Afisi stated the National Army may well be temporarily merged with Turkish-backed rebels in Idlib if vital.

The state of affairs in Idlib is sophisticated through the presence of well-armed jihadists that have fought with the other teams.

"We are ready and extend our hand to all groups that represent the goals of the revolution," he stated.
Syrian rebels build an army with Turkish help, face challenges Syrian rebels build an army with Turkish help, face challenges Reviewed by Kailash on August 12, 2018 Rating: 5
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