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Infighting in Turkish-backed faction leads to tension in Syria's Afrin

It seems Hayat Tahrir al-Sham lost a loyal faction after several currents with the Turkish-backed Ahrar al-Sham factions isolated the movement’s current leadership and appointed their own leader.
Fighters from the Third Legion of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army.

ALEPPO — Tension has grown in recent days between rival currents within Ahrar al-Sham, which is affiliated with the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), over Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), leading to clashes between fighters supporting HTS and others opposing it in the vicinity of Afrin in the countryside of Aleppo.

Ahmed Ibrahim, a journalist based in Afrin, told Al-Monitor that “clashes have been ongoing since Nov. 10 in the area surrounding the Teranda base [of Ahrar al-Sham] in the west of Afrin between groups affiliated with the Ahrar al-Sham leadership close to HTS and fighters from the faction holed up in the base, after the latter appointed their own leader while isolating Ahrar al-Sham’s leadership.”

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