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Turkey-backed Syrian opposition groups merge under new banner

A group of factions affiliated with the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army have formed a new alliance known as the Syrian Liberation Front intended to end the power struggle between Turkey’s allied factions in northern Syria.
BAKR ALKASEM/AFP via Getty Images

IDLIB, Syria — On Sept. 9, five factions affiliated with the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army announced that they had merged into the new “Syrian Liberation Front.” They include the Sultan Suleiman Shah Division, Hamza Division, al-Mutasim Brigade, Suqour al-Shamal Brigades and the 20th Division.

Mutasim Brigade leader Mutasim al-Abbas was appointed as commander of the new Syrian Liberation Front, with Hamza Division leader Saif Bolad serving as his deputy. Nearly 15,000 fighters have joined the front from the three Syrian areas where Turkey led military operations — the Euphrates Shield, the Olive Branch, and the Peace Spring areas — in the countryside of Aleppo, Raqqa and Hasakah.

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