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Syrian opposition gears up for Turkish ground operation

As the Turkish-backed opposition factions prepare for an imminent Turkish ground operation against Kurdish forces in northern Syria, questions arise about the potential participation of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in the battle.
Turkey-backed Syrian fighters man a checkpoint in the town of Marea in the northern Aleppo governorate, facing the Kurdish-controlled area of Tal Rifaat, Syria, Aug. 2, 2022.

The Turkish-backed factions in northern Syria are gearing up for an imminent ground operation led by Turkey against Kurdish forces, which Ankara accused of being behind the Nov. 13 Istanbul bombing that killed six people. 

Speaking to reporters in Ankara Nov. 21, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to eradicate “terrorists” — in reference to Kurdish forces — from the areas of Tal Rifaat, Manbij and Ain al-Arab in northern Syria. These areas are controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters backed by the United States.

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