It is claimed that thanks to Turkey the US-led coalition can now boast not only ISIS militants but also Al-Qaeda-affiliated brigades. Spearheading Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria is a rag-bag of Islamist units, whose mission is simple: to seek out, torture and kill Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – the same SDF miltias who, with US support, have been fighting ISIS for the past two years and more. Welcome to topsy-turvy land.
The forces backed by Turkey in northern Syria refer to themselves as ‘Free Syrian Army’ (FSA). They count in their ranks ultra-nationalist Turkmen fighters, allied with former al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and the Salafi/Wahhabi group Ahrar al-Sham. They also boast fighters from the Nour al-Din al-Zenki battalion. Many of these militants have long been linked to the Grey Wolves – a notorious neo-fascist group in Turkey.
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