Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army
The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (abbreviated as TFSA), officially known as the Syrian National Army (SNA; Arabic: الجيش الوطني السوري, romanized: al-Jayš al-Watanī as-Sūrī, Turkish: Suriye Millî Ordusu) or simply the National Army (Arabic: الجيش الوطني, romanized: Jayš al-Watanī, Turkish: Millî Ordu), is an armed Syrian opposition structure mainly composed of Syrian Arab, Syrian Kurds and Syrian Turkmen rebels operating in northwestern Syria. Though concentrated in Turkish-occupied areas, originally as a part of Operation Euphrates Shield, the TFSA also established a presence in the Idlib Governorate during the 2019 northwestern Syria offensive, and consolidated its presence when the National Front for Liberation joined the SNA on 4 October 2019.
|Syrian National Army|
(Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army)
الجيش الوطني السوريParticipant in the Syrian Civil War, as part of the Turkish involvement in the Syrian Civil War
Logo of the Syrian National Army
Flag of the Syrian National Army
|Allegiance||Syrian Interim Government|
(President of SIG)
(Prime Minister of SIG)
Maj. Gen. Salim Idris
(Minister of Defense and Chief of Staff)
Brig. Gen. Adnan al-Ahmad
(Deputy Chief of Staff)
Brig. Gen. Fadlallah al-Haji
(Deputy Chief of Staff)
|Headquarters||Azaz, Aleppo Governorate|
|Area of operations||Syria's north (Turkish-occupied northern Syria)|
|Opponent(s)|| Syrian Democratic Forces|
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
|Battles and war(s)||Syrian Civil War|
The formation of the National Army was officially announced on 30 December 2017 in Azaz. The official aims of the group are to assist the Republic of Turkey in creating a "safe zone" in Syria, and to establish a National Army. They are strong opponents of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and have also fought the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and, to a lesser extent, the Syrian government's Syrian Arab Army. The TFSA has a law enforcement equivalent, the Free Police, which is also backed by Turkey.
The TFSA, which includes at least 25,000 fighters according to one of its senior commanders, mostly consists of Arabs and Turkmen. In comparison, the number of Syrian Kurds among the TFSA is relatively small. In January 2018, senior TFSA commander Azad Shabo said that there were "dozens" among the FSA units such as the Azadî Battalion, while Almodon Online reported about 500 Kurdish fighters overall, including in non-FSA formations such as Ahrar al-Sham, the Levant Front and the Army of Grandchildren. By February 2018, a TFSA commander said that 350 Kurds were part of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army.
By the end of June 2017, most Turkish-backed FSA groups reorganized themselves into three main military blocs: the Victory Bloc, the Sultan Murad Bloc, and the Levant Bloc. However, a number of other groups remained independent. On 30 December 2017, the groups unified to form the National Army. By this time, three "legions" were established as part of the SNA: the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Legions. On 15 March 2018, rebel factions in northern Homs countryside formed the 4th Legion, though they later evacuated to northern Aleppo. Factions also evacuated from the Rif Damascus and Damascus Governorates to northern Aleppo.
On 4 October 2019, the National Front for Liberation joined the National Army's command structure, planning to become its 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th legions. Both NFL and SNA fighters were uninformed of the merger, which took place in a press conference in Urfa, southern Turkey, amid Turkish plans to launch an offensive against the Syrian Democratic Forces.
According to a research paper published this October by the pro-government Turkish think tank SETA, "Out of the 28 factions [in the Syrian National Army], 21 were previously supported by the United States, three of them via the Pentagon’s program to combat DAESH. Eighteen of these factions were supplied by the CIA via the MOM Operations Room in Turkey, a joint intelligence operation room of the ‘Friends of Syria’ to support the armed opposition. Fourteen factions of the 28 were also recipients of the U.S.-supplied TOW anti-tank guided missiles."
- National Army
- 1st Legion
- Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror Brigade
- Samarkand Brigade
- Army of Grandsons (also part of the Victory Bloc and the Sultan Murad Bloc)
- Conquest Brigade (also part of the Levant Front)
- 1st Division[better source needed]
- Tala'a Victory Brigade
- Muntasir Billah Brigade
- 21st Combined Force remnants (northern Aleppo branch)
- Ahrar al-Sharqiya
- Division 14
- Division 20 / Brigade 144
- 2nd Legion[better source needed]
- 5th Brigade
- 145th Brigade (also part of the Victory Bloc, and a member group of the Elite Army 14th Division)
- Sultan Murad Bloc
- Jaysh al-Islam (Rif Damascus & Damascus Governorates branches)
- Men of War Brigade
- 3rd Legion
- Levant Bloc
- al-Rahman Legion (Rif Damascus & Damascus Governorates branches)
- Glory Corps
- 3rd Brigade (Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement elements)
- National Front for Liberation
- 4th Legion
- 5th Legion
- 6th and 7th Legion
- 4th Legion (2018)
- Victory Bloc
- Elite Division  (also part of the 2nd Legion)
- Army of the Grandsons (also part of the 1st Legion and the Sultan Murad Bloc)
- Free Men of the East
- Elite Army (northern Aleppo branch)
- 1st Brigade
- Sham Legion
- Authenticity and Development Front (northern Aleppo branch)
- Sultan Murad Division
- Hamza Division
- Army of Grandsons
- Al-Mu'tasim Brigade
- Northern Brigade
- Revolutionary Knights Brigade
- Free Syria Brigade
- Swords of Shahba Brigade
- Manbij Revolutionaries Gathering
- Soldiers of Mercy Battalion
- Martyr Alaa Abu Zaid Battalion
- Honest Dawn Battalion
- Sirajuddin Battalion
- Supporters of God Battalion
- Omar Abu al-Hasan Battalion
- Commandos of the Sunna Battalions
- Commandos of Islam Brigade
- Zubayr ibn al-Awwam Battalion[better source needed]
- Al-Rafidayn al-Aeamila Battalion
- Qiba Martyrs Battalion
- Northern Commando Battalion[better source needed]
- Jarabulus Martyrs Battalion[better source needed]
- Martyr Alaa Barir Battalion[better source needed]
- Revolutionary Knights Brigade
- 23rd Division (northern Aleppo branch)
- Sultan Suleyman Shah Brigade
- Northern Hawks Brigade
- 9th Special Forces Division of Aleppo
- Mustafa Regiment
- 1st Commandos Brigade[better source needed]
- Revolutionaries of Syrian Jazeera
- Sultan Othman Brigade
- 1st Division of Aleppo
- 51st Brigade
- Descendants of Saladin Brigade until July 2017; since then "Saladin Brigade" remnant faction
- 2nd Army (northern Aleppo branch)
- 1st Regiment[better source needed]
- People of the Homeland
- Martyr Mashaal Tammo Brigade
- Qamishli Shield
- Afrin Shield
- Military councils
- Al-Bab Military Council
- Mare' Military Council
- Qabasin Military Council
- Akhtarin Military Council
- Menagh Military Council
- Tell Rifaat Military Council
- Deir ez-Zor Unified Military Council
- Raqqa Military Council
- Other Turkish-backed rebel groups in the area
- Army of Glory elements
- Liwa Ahrar Ras al-Ayn
- Army of al-Jazeera and Euphrates
- Eastern Shield Army
- Sons of Hasaka Union
- Revolutionary Council of the Albo Batoush tribe[better source needed]
- Kurdish Tribal Council in the Aleppo Countryside[better source needed]
- Kurdish Liberation Movement (formerly the Kurdish Revolutionary Battalion of Sons of Hasaka Union)[better source needed]
- Unified Syrian Army (northern Aleppo branch)
- Azaz Revolutionaries Battalions
- Harakat al-Qiyam
- Deir ez-Zor Liberation Brigade[better source needed]
- Liberation Brigade
- Dhi Qar Brigade
- Al-Mu'tasim Brigade
- Revolutionary Shield Brigade
- Dignity Battalion
- Abbas Battalion
- Sons of Islam Movement
- Brigade of God
- Omar Battalions
- Ali ibn Abi Talib Battalion
- Ansar Battalions
- Descendants of Mustafa Battalion
- Sword of Justice Battalion
- Badr Brigade
- Special Forces Brigade
- Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas Battalions
- Euphrates Commando Battalion
- Muhajir Brigade
- 64th Brigade
- Muhammad Brigades
- Ahrar al-Tabqa Gathering
- Suqour al-Sham Brigades
- Glory to God Brigade
- Lions of Islam Brigade
- Bara Battalion
- Glory Battalions
- Ahrar al-Sham (Rif Damascus & Damascus Governorates branches)
- Lions of the East Army (Eastern Qalamoun branch)
- Forces of Martyr Ahmad al-Abdo (Eastern Qalamoun branch)
- Al-Qaratayn Martyrs Brigade
- Company of the People of the Levant
- Hold on to God Union
- Men of Qalamoun
- Strangers Brigade
- Qalamoun Shield Brigade
- Al-Nabek Martyrs’ Brigade
- Ibn Taymiyyah Brigade
- Martyr Abu Jaafar Brigade
- Martyr Ali Diyab Brigade
- United in the Love of God Brigade
- Al-Qastal Martyrs’ Brigades
- Qalamoun Liberation Brigades
- Sham Liberation Army
Connection with TurkeyEdit
The Turkey-backed FSA are the main non-Turkish Armed Forces component of Operation Euphrates Shield. The name is a misnomer, as they are distinct from the Free Syrian Army; their wages are paid for by the Turkish government, they operate alongside the Turkish Armed Forces. Their chain of command has no connection to the Free Syrian Army.[dubious ] Injured Turkey-backed FSA troops have been treated in Turkey. The Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army are also distinguishable from other Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups because they have attacked YPG and other SDF units, which the FSA generally has not done (besides occasional skirmishes on Afrin's southern border with Idlib-based groups), while they have refrained from attacking the Syrian Arab Army, the main opponent of most FSA groups.
There have been moves by Turkey to consolidate the units within their sphere of influence into one formal army, with a suggestion that it be called the "Syrian National Army".
The Free Police have more overt connections to Turkey, reportedly wearing Turkish police uniforms decorated with the word "Polis" (Turkish for "Police"), while Special Forces wear distinctive light blue berets also worn by Turkish Gendarmerie. Some wore a Turkish flag patch on their uniforms at the inauguration ceremony on 24 January 2017. The Free Police also receive five weeks of training in Turkey.
2016: Operation Euphrates ShieldEdit
The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA)'s first known engagement was a joint operation with the Turkish Armed Forces. In the first day, they took control of Jarabulus from ISIL. After this, they expanded northeast, meeting with units of the Syrian Democratic Forces north of Manbij. The TFSA successfully pushed the SDF out of the Jarablus area and captured all its settlements, the Euphrates river was used as a demarcation line, with forces on the opposing sides. On at least one occasion, American troops came to form a joint operation with Turkey; however after the TFSA's Ahrar al-Sharqiya Brigade's verbal attacks ("crusaders", "pigs") against them, the US troops withdrew, being escorted from the area by US-backed units in the TFSA, including the Hamza Division and the al-Mu'tasim Brigade. A U.S. defense official confirmed the event, but said that U.S. soldiers were still deployed in the area. The joint forces pushed ISIL to the south. After this success, Turkey-backed FSA made contact near Mare with the SDF forces from the Afrin Canton. Contact between the two saw Turkey-backed FSA attack some SDF-held towns with Turkish artillery support. The attacks were repelled, with casualties on both sides.
In February 2017, the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army and the Turkish Armed Forces advanced to besiege al-Bab. By 27 February, the Turkey-backed FSA and Turkish Armed Forces seized al-Bab. As of February 2017, 470 fighters of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army died in Operation Euphrates Shield, while the Turkish armed forces lost 68.
As of March 2017, the TFSA and the Turkish army were effectively blocked from moving further east by advances of the SAA. This occurred when the SDF's Manbij Military Council handed over some territory bordering the Turkish positions to the SAA, creating a buffer zone. As a result, the TFSA failed to achieve other stated goals, including capturing the SDF-held city of Manbij and participating in the Coalition offensive on Raqqa.
On 24 September 2017, the Hamza Division announced the opening of a military academy in the city of al-Bab. According to Abdullah Halawa, military commander of the group, 2,200 fighters will undergo 2 months of training in the academy, with the goal of forming a "Syrian National Army" in northern Syria.
2018: Operation Olive BranchEdit
On 20 January 2018, Turkey launched a new operation in Afrin Region, against the Kurdish-led Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria. The TFSA conduct ground offensives against the YPG and SDF supported by and in conjunction with Turkish armed forces (TAF/TSK) air strikes, artillery, armored units, and special forces units. The first phase of the operation is to capture the entire Afrin-Turkey border. On 1 February, the TFSA captured the strategic town of Bulbul after a fierce battle with the Kurdish-led People's Protection Units (YPG). In early March, the second phase of Operation Olive Branch was launched after successfully clearing the entire Afrin-Turkey border. On 3 March, after fierce fighting, the TFSA captured the town of Rajo. On 8 March, the TFSA captured Jinderes, meaning that they now have control over all major roads leading to the city of Afrin. On 13 March, TFSA forces reached Afrin city and encircled it. On 18 March, the TFSA took full control of Afrin, marking their second big victory after Operation Euphrates Shield. Since the capture of Afrin city, TFSA forces have been busy clearing the recently captured areas of mines and providing security and stability to the region. As of 13 June TFSA forces have dismantled 240 mines and 1,231 IEDs.
2019: Operation Dawn of Idlib and Operation Peace SpringEdit
By 16 August, the TFSA sent considerable reinforcements to the frontlines of Hama and Idlib, where the Syrian Arab Army was launching an offensive against HTS and various rebel groups. They included a large number of fighters from the Turkish-held regions of Northern Syria. Following this, rebel forces launched another heavy attack on the government-held village of Sukayk.
On 9 October 2019, Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army, had launched what they called Operation Peace Spring against SDF to eradicate what Turkish President Erdogan called "the threat of terror" against Turkey. On the 13th of October, Peace Spring forces captured the border town of tal Abyad. After the conclusion of Second Battle of Ras al-Ayn on the 20th of October, SDF fighters retreated from the border town of Ras al Ain during the cease fire, which was brokered by the United States and Turkey.
Internal conflict between TFSA factionsEdit
This section needs to be updated.July 2018)(
On 26 March 2016, Ahrar ash-Sham ordered the anti-YPG Kurdish FSA group Liwa Ahfad Saladin to remove the flag of Kurdistan from their posts and threatened military action if they did not. However, Liwa Ahfad Saladin's commander denied the incident ever occurred and stated Ahrar ash-Sham to be its ally.
On 27 September 2016, several Ahrar al-Sham fighters publicly burned a FSA flag in Azaz. The Ahrar al-Sham spokesman denied involvement and the incident sparked pro-FSA demonstrations in the city.
On 14 November 2016, the Levant Front and the Sultan Murad Division clashed at the Azaz border gate with Kilis, Turkey. Ahrar al-Sham and the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, a former member of the Levant Front, joined the fighting after they said the Levant Front leaders was "acting like gangs".
On 3 April 2017, Ahrar al-Sham reportedly attacked Liwa Ahfad Saladin in Qabasin and captured more than 8 of their fighters, including a commander. Hours later, the prisoners were released after negotiations, although tensions between the two groups remain.
On 13 April 2017, clashes broke out between the Levant Front and the Sultan Suleyman Shah Brigade 100 kilometers north of Aleppo after both groups said the other was committing corruption. The Sultan Murad Division, the Hamza Division, and the Northern Hawks Brigade sided with the Sultan Suleyman Shah Brigade during the clashes.
On 14 May 2017, two separate clashes in Jarabulus and Gandura pitted the Ahrar al-Sharqiya Brigade against the Sultan Murad Division and the Sham Legion. The fighting stopped after the intervention of the Turkish Army.
On 22 May, the Levant Front attacked the Sham Legion near Azaz. The Levant Front said the Sham Legion was conspiring with the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, part of Tahrir al-Sham. The LF besieged the Sham Legion headquarters, captured a number of their fighters, and seized several ammunition dumps.
Between 24 and 25 May, 5 FSA factions including the Levant Front, the Hamza Division, and the Sultan Murad Division conducted a joint attack on the Revolutionary Knights Brigade between Azaz and al-Rai and captured more than 20 of their fighters, in addition to killing and wounding at least 10. The FSA factions said the Revolutionary Knights Brigade was affiliated to the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement and Tahrir al-Sham and partaking in smuggling, looting, extortion, and abuses of civilians.
On 2 June 2017, defectors from the Northern Brigade's Commandos of Islam Brigade joined Tahrir al-Sham, giving them a presence in TFSA territory. However, Capt. Kuja stated that he is still part of the Northern Brigade.
Between 4 and 15 June, heavy fighting broke out between TFSA factions led by the Sultan Murad Division and Ahrar al-Sham and its allies in and near al-Bab. By 15 June, 33 people were killed and 55 injured in the infighting. On 8 June, between 60 and 70 TFSA fighters, including several Sultan Murad Division commanders, defected to the Syrian Army and the Syrian Democratic Forces during the clashes.
On 3 July 2017, Mahmoud Khallo, commander of the Descendants of Saladin Brigade, declared that his unit would not participate in a planned Turkish-led offensive against the YPG and SDF in the Afrin Canton and the Shahba region. Following the announcement, the group was attacked by multiple Turkish-backed groups, which captured the group's positions and warehouses with vehicles and equipment. On 14 July, Khallo himself was captured by the Levant Front, which said he was affiliated with both al-Qaeda and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and was tortured. The Levant Front then handed him over to Turkish security forces, who interrogated him. After being released soon after, Khallo protested against his unit's treatment and criticized that "Turkey was apparently only interested in using the Syrian militias to further its own strategic goals". He also said that Liwa Ahfad Saladin, now without weapons, would set up a political party.
On 25 March 2018, following the capture of Afrin a week earlier, clashes broke out between the Hamza Division and Ahrar al-Sharqiya in the city, resulting in the latter group capturing around 200 fighters from the former. A ceasefire agreement between the two groups was signed on the same day under the auspices of Turkey.
On 18 November 2018, at least 25 militants were killed and dozens wounded in heavy clashes between Turkish-backed insurgent factions in the northwestern Syrian city of Afrin. The clashes primarily occurred in the Mahmudiya and Villat neighborhoods, killing 14 fighters from Ahrar al-Sharqiya and nine from the other groups.
Reports of war crimesEdit
This article possibly contains original research. (April 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Several cases of Human rights violations have been reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human rights (SOHR)
According to Kurdish sources, Kurdish local politician Hevrin Khalaf was executed near Qamishli by Turkish-backed troops, her death was later confirmed by the SOHR. SOHR further reported that at least 9 civilians had been executed by the Turkish-backed troops.
On 3 October 2018, the Glory Corps attempted to seize 4 houses inhabited by displaced families from Arbin in Afrin city to use as headquarters, but were stopped by the Sultan Murad Division and the Turkish-backed military police.
On 27 January 2019, Glory Corps and Sham Legion fighters kidnapped a doctor from his clinic in Afrin and tortured him, and said he was a member of the Democratic Union Party (PYD); the Sham Legion denied its fighters were involved.
After the SNA captured the border town of Tell Abyad and its surroundings during the offensive in northern and eastern Syria in October 2019, Glory Corps fighters reportedly kidnapped several young men from Bir Atwan village, west of Tell Abyad, and beat and humiliated them. On 22 October, fighters from the group trampled and mutilated the body of what appeared to be a Women's Protection Units (YPJ) fighter they killed in the countryside near Kobanî, laughing while they did so.
- "30 rebel groups merge under Interim Govt's banner, form 'The National Army'". Zaman al-Wasl. 31 December 2017. Archived from the original on 31 December 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
- "Syrian opposition forces unite under defense ministry, head of interim gov't says". Daily Sabah. 4 October 2019.
- Khalil Ashawi (13 August 2018). "Syrian rebels build an army with Turkish help, face challenges". Reuters. Archived from the original on 13 August 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- Khaled Khatib (5 October 2019). ""National Army" .. What is the feasibility of integration?". Al-Modon.
- المعارضة المعتدلة.. القوة الأساسية في إدلب
- “National Army” Restructured Having Merged With “National Front for Liberation”
- "Exclusive: Turkey boosts arms to Syrian rebels as Idlib attack looms - rebel sources". Reuters. 12 September 2018.
- "Hundreds of Turkey-backed rebels leave Manbij frontlines to fight Al Qaeda in Aleppo". The National (Abu Dhabi). 2 January 2019.
- "Syrian National Army sends reinforcements to confront HTS in Western Aleppo, according to military commander of National Army". SMART News Agency. 2 January 2019.
- "TURKISH-BACKED SYRIAN NATIONAL ARMY JOINS BATTLE AGAINST HAY'AT TAHRIR AL-SHAM – REPORT". South Front. 4 January 2019.
- "The fight between Tahrir al-Sham and the National Front extends to the northern countryside of Idlib in the 5th day of the bloody clashes that killed about 130 fighters and civilians". SOHR. 5 January 2019.
- "Syrian Opposition Factions in the Syrian Civil War". bellingcat. 13 August 2016.
- Ömer Özkizilcik (1 July 2019). "A way out for Russia and Turkey from Idlib's spiral of violence". Middle East Institute.
- Suleiman Al-Khalidi (26 May 2019). "Turkey sends weapons to Syrian rebels facing Russian-backed assault: Syrian sources". Reuters.
- "Turkey-backed opposition to form new army in northern Syria". Archived from the original on 30 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- "Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army eliminates 'terrorist microbes' along Syrian border". RT. 5 September 2016. Archived from the original on 19 May 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- Kajjo, Sirwan (25 August 2016). "Who are the Turkey backed Syrian Rebels?". Voice of America. Archived from the original on 19 February 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- Coskun, Orhan; Sezer, Seda (19 September 2016). "Turkey-backed rebels could push further south in Syria, Erdogan says". Reuters. Archived from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
- "Which Syrian Groups Are Involved in Turkey's Syria Offensive?". VOA News. 9 October 2019.
- "Money, hatred for the Kurds drives Turkey's Syrian fighters". Associated Press. 15 October 2019.
- Suleiman Al-Khalidi (21 January 2018). "FSA Commander Says 25,000 Syrian Rebels Back Turkish Force in Syria". Reuters. Archived from the original on 26 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- "Dozens of Kurds Fighting Under FSA Banner: Rebel Commander". Syrian Observer. 24 January 2018. Archived from the original on 24 January 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- Hogir Nejjae (24 January 2018). "Kurdish National Council participates in aggression against Afrin". Hawar News Agency. Archived from the original on 28 January 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- Adnan Al Hussein (21 January 2017). "هل تنجح "غصن الزيتون" بإجبار "الوحدات" على تسليم عفرين؟" [Will Olive Branch succeed in forcing the units to hand over Afrin?]. almodon (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 1 February 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- Khaled al-Khateb (16 February 2018). "Kurdish fighters join Turkey's Afrin operation". al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 17 February 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
- "Aleppo: factions "shield Euphrates" gather in "military blocs"". Al-Modon. 22 June 2017. Archived from the original on 29 June 2017. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
- "At the request of the Turkish Government, the National Liberation Front merges with the "National Army" in the form of 4 Corps of the "Ministry of Defense within the interim Syrian government"". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 4 October 2019.
- Ragip Soylu, Harun al-Aswad (4 October 2019). "Syrian rebel groups merge as Turkish offensive looms". Middle East Eye.
- "Analysis: Uniting the Syrian Opposition - The Components of the National Army and the Implications of the Unification" (PDF). SETA. October 2019.
- "US gave green light to Turkey, provided it with mercenaries to attack Syria: Report". Press TV. 20 October 2019.
- "Turkish-backed Militants Create New Coalition To Combat YPG, PKK, ISIS". 12 May 2017. Archived from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
- "470 FSA fighters killed in Euphrates Shield Operation". Kom News. 17 February 2017. Archived from the original on 25 September 2017. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
- Khaled al-Khateb (18 April 2017). "FSA sees 'golden opportunity' with end of Turkey's operations in Syria". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 1 July 2017. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
- ""لواء الفتح" يعلن انضمامه لـ"الجبهة الشامية" في حلب" [The "Fatah Brigade" announces that it joins the Levant Front in Aleppo]. SMART News Agency. 8 March 2017. Archived from the original on 26 September 2018. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
- RFS Media Office (28 July 2017). "الجيش الوطني السوري" – via YouTube.
- Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (5 November 2019). "Division 20: Interview". Retrieved 10 November 2019.
- "الجيش السوري الحر بيان تشكيل الفيلق الثاني". YouTube. 27 November 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
- ~ Joško Barić (28 November 2017). "Syrian War Daily – 28th of November 2017 | Syrian War Daily". Syrianwardaily.wordpress.com. Archived from the original on 25 December 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
- "Deir al-Zour military council to join the bloc Sultan Murad north of Aleppo". Qasioun News Agency. 17 July 2017. Archived from the original on 20 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
- Suraj Sharma (16 February 2018). "Turkey sends 'Kurdish Falcon' force to Afrin to counter anti-Kurd image". Middle East Eye. Archived from the original on 1 May 2018. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (8 November 2019). "The Men of War Brigade: Interview". Retrieved 10 November 2019.
- "The suffering of the forcibly displaced Kurds continues in the countryside of Aleppo". ARA News. 13 June 2017. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
- "Jaish Al Shamal threatens (SDF) militias". Al-Dorar al-Shamia. 17 August 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
- Times, Military. "Turkish tanks and spec ops attack Islamic State forces in Syria". Archived from the original on 28 August 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
- "لواء منبج (@lewaamanbej) - Twitter". Archived from the original on 15 March 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- Wyvern (31 January 2018). "Wyvern on Twitter: "Syrian rebel faction Fastaqim Union is also participating in #OperationOliveBranch. The group previously fought against the regime in Aleppo city & against IS in northern countryside of Aleppo as part of Euphrates Shield in #Syria. Overall leader is @mustafa_berro1 @hiberpress… https://t.co/1wcW24t5UI"". Twitter.com. Retrieved 21 February 2018. External link in
- صقر ابو قتيبة (4 December 2016). "صقر ابو قتيبة (@mustafa_berro1)". Twitter. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
- "The assassination of a leader of Ahrar al-Sham north of Idlib, and the last escape of the west of Hama". STEP News Agency. 2 February 2018.
- @alwataniathrer (14 August 2018). "National Front for Liberation" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Dozens of fighters form the brigade of northern Aleppo and declare joining the "National Front"". SMART News Agency. 14 August 2018.
- الشامية, محرر الدرر (15 August 2018). ""الجبهة الوطنية للتحرير" تتوسّع بانضمام فصيل عسكري جديد". الدرر الشامية (in Arabic). Cite error: The named reference "north" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
- @badly_xeroxed (27 August 2018). "The Imam Ali Battalion led by Waled Shagal joined the ranks of FSA National Liberation Front" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Fourth Corps of the Syrian National Army in Homs countryside". Nedaa Syria. 15 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
- "TahrirSy تحرير سوري on Twitter". Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "The merger of seven opposition factions north of Aleppo under the name of (a block of victory)". Al Etihad Press. 5 June 2017. Archived from the original on 8 June 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
- Ahmad Zakariya (2 April 2016). "After the recent merger of FSA factions, commander of FSA's Al-Safwa Battalions explains: unity has become a necessity". Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office. Archived from the original on 6 October 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
- "Fighters from the Ahrar al-Sharqiya rebel group attend a training near the northern Syrian town of al-Rai". Reuters. 20 March 2017. Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
- "r/syriancivilwar - Elite Army's Northern Sector's 14th Division's 145th Brigade sweep Mount Khoruz, north of Afrin, for YPG remnants and sleeper cells". reddit. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "Brigade North are free to announce joining the Sham Corps". Qasioun News Agency. 16 June 2017. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
- Barić, Joško (21 June 2017). "Syrian War Daily – 21st of June 2017". Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
- Barić, Joško (18 June 2017). "Syrian War Daily – 18th of June 2017". Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
- "Clashes break out in Ghouta of Damascus and in Dar'a; Al-Sham Legion forms Al-Shamal Brigade in Aleppo". Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office. 30 January 2016.
- ""Battalion driven" and "Islam Brigades" deny Mbaiathma for "Sham edit body"". Al-Nour. 2 June 2017. Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
- Barić, Joško (17 June 2017). "Katibat al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam, Katibat al-Rafidayn al-Aeamila, and Katibat Shuhada al-Qiba all joined Liwa al-Shamal in northern Aleppo.pic.twitter.com/AdcQ9Woc07".
- Barić, Joško (17 June 2017). "Syrian War Daily – 17th of June 2017". Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- Barić, Joško (20 June 2017). "Katibat Maghawir al-Shamal (Northern Commando Battalion) joined Liwa al-Shamal in northern Aleppo.pic.twitter.com/wO9bdEIRdT".
- Barić, Joško (28 June 2017). "Katibat Shuhada Jarabulus (Jarabulus Martyrs Brigade) joined Liwa al-Shamal in northern Aleppo.pic.twitter.com/aAx2DfnCD4".
- Barić, Joško (14 July 2017). "Katibat al-Shahid Alaa Barir (Martyr Alaa Barir Battalion) joined Liwa al-Shamal in northern Aleppo.pic.twitter.com/h4kuMb7ZDc".
- "Syrian Civil War factions".
- "Factions (door) announces the formation of a unified operations room". All4Syria. 18 June 2017. Archived from the original on 12 July 2017. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
- سوري, TahrirSy تحرير (2 April 2017). "#Syria #TahrirSouri the 151 Company in Mohamad al-Fatih Brigade became independent under the name "First Brigade Commandos"pic.twitter.com/A9yonD1HUB".
- "FSA The First Squad of Aleppo". Yalla Souriya. 11 August 2016. Archived from the original on 13 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
- Lars Hauch (5 July 2017). "Syria war: Turkey 'disbands rebel battalion' as alliances collapse". Middle East Eye. Archived from the original on 5 July 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Ammar Hammou; Maria Nelson (5 February 2018). "Revolutionaries, pawns, liberators, or mercenaries? Meet the Kurdish fighters participating in Turkey's Afrin offensive". Syria Direct. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
- Fehim Tastekin (26 January 2018). "Erdogan's plans for Afrin might not sit well with Syria". al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 28 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "Commander of the FSA's Jaish Al-Thani : Our objective is to form a unified national army to ensure safety in all Syrian territory - Revolutionary Forces of Syria media office". 23 June 2017. Archived from the original on 8 September 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
- Adra, Zen (11 June 2017). "Rebel infighting kills scores in northeast Aleppo". Al-Masdar News. Archived from the original on 17 June 2017. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
- "The formation of "the people of homes" Brive Aleppo to expel "intentionally"". Baladi News Network. 6 June 2017. Archived from the original on 6 July 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
- "Menagh Revolutionary Council refuses "Abu Udai" and pursuits him". 13 August 2017.
- "Hill raised negotiations failed .. and the return of the military option". Al-Modon. 19 June 2017. Archived from the original on 23 June 2017. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
- "Formation of a unified military council to liberate Deir al-Zour". en.eldorar.com.
- "Factions of the Free Army announce their joining of the Raqqa Military Council". Baladi News Network. 18 April 2018.
- "Syrian tribal leaders backed by Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia found new army". Kom News. 15 March 2017. Archived from the original on 16 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
- "جيش الشرقية يلتحق بـ "غصن الزيتون" ويدعو إلى الالتزام بأخلاقيات الحرب والأعراف الدولية". 8 February 2017. Archived from the original on 15 February 2018. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
- "A new military formation of the people of Al-Hasakah to fight the PYD in Aleppo countryside". en.eldorar.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
- Ridha, Hassan (5 June 2017). "اعلان تشكيل "المجلس الثوري لعشيرة البوبطوش" عقب اجتماع بين زعماء القبيلة وبعض قادة الجماعات المسلحة في قرية كفرة بريف حلب الشماليpic.twitter.com/kQuuaBXD82".
- قناة الجسر الفضائية (27 May 2017). "بيان تشكيل مجلس العشائر الكردية في ريف حلب" – via YouTube.
- Leconte, Henry (23 June 2017). "This is their flag, they are rebels...pic.twitter.com/ngj4rGhaVm".
- "Dissident officers launch the initiative of the "Syrian army united" .. These details (video)". El-Dorar al-Shamia. 25 July 2017. Archived from the original on 25 July 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 September 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "A new faction funded by Turkey to hit "Ksd" .. The first operations targeting civilians in the countryside Afrin". Adar Press. 28 July 2017. Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- "Another mercenary gang in al-Shahba formed". Hawar News Agency. 29 July 2017. Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
- حركة القيام. "حركة القيام (@syriafree1c)". Twitter. Archived from the original on 19 December 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
- "Qeyam Movement حركة القيام". YouTube. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
- Mzahem Alsaloum. "Mzahem Alsaloum on Twitter: "DZ City factions united under one faction (Liwa' Tahrir #DeirEzZor- DZ Liberation Bridge). #Syria #ISIS #Daesh #ISIS #ŘŻŮŠŘąŘ§Ů"Ř˛ŮˆŘą #ŘłŮˆŘąŮŠŘ§ #ŘŻŘ§ŘšŘ´â€Ś https://t.co/S12rgGdjWg"". Twitter.com. Retrieved 21 February 2018. External link in
- الاسم *. "خمسة وعشرون فصيلاً من المعارضة يندمجون تحت مسمى "لواء تحرير دير الزور" – الاتحاد برس". Aletihadpress.com. Archived from the original on 17 October 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
- ""كتائب المجد" فصيل جديد تابع للجيش الحر في حلب". Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
- "R/Syriancivilwar - FSA Liwa Shuhada al-Qaryatayn, former VSO group operating in the 55 km deconfliction zone at al-Tanf, are preparing to leave to EuphratesShield areas in N. Aleppo with hundreds of civilians from Rubkan camp after an agreement with Russia".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Syria rebels form new Qalamoun coalition". Now News. 1 October 2015. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
- "A fighter from the Sadik unit of Free Syrian Army's Tahrir al Sham brigade fires his Draganov sniper rifle from inside a house during heavy fighting in Mleha suburb of Damascus". Archived from the original on 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- Bar'el, Zvi (26 November 2016). "The Free Syrian Army follows orders from Turkey". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 21 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
- Mazi, Izzet (23 February 2017). "Injured Free Syrian Army fighters treated in Turkey". Anadolu Agency. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- Muhammad, Sulaiman (28 February 2017). "Kurds clash with Turkey-backed rebels near Aleppo". ARA News. Archived from the original on 2 March 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- Astih, Paula (19 February 2017). "6 Factions Constitute the Core of Turkey-Backed Syrian National Army". Asharq Al-Awsat (English Edition). Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- Zaman, Amberin (25 January 2017). "Syria's new national security force pledges loyalty to Turkey". Al Monitor. Archived from the original on 26 January 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- Ashawi, Khalil; Barrington, Lisa; King, Larry. "Hundreds of police trained by Turkey start work in northern Syria". Reuters. Archived from the original on 26 January 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- "Turkey-Backed Free Syrian Army Takes Control of Jarablus". Sputnik. 24 August 2016. Archived from the original on 19 February 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- Barrington, Lisa (29 August 2016). "Turkish forces deepen push into Syria, draw U.S. rebuke over their..." Reuters. Archived from the original on 5 July 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- Editorial, Reuters (29 August 2016). "SDF-backed fighters in Jarablus say retreating south as Turkey..." Reuters. Archived from the original on 6 July 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "Syria: FSA fighters chase US soldiers out of Al Rai, Syria". Yeni Şafak. Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
- "US Special Forces join Turkish troops in northern Syria - MIDEAST". Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- "Clashes, shelling and shells continue in Aleppo city after the end of the Russian truce, and casualties in clashes at the northern countryside of Aleppo". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 22 October 2016. Archived from the original on 26 October 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Turkey-backed FSA captures strategic hills overlooking al-Bab from Daesh, clashes resume for the town's full control". Daily Sabah. 8 February 2017. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- Aydin, Mustafa (23 February 2017). "The logjam in Syria and Iraq". Hürriyet Daily News. Archived from the original on 24 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
- "Turkish-led rebels attack IS posts inside al-Bab city – rebels". Reuters. 9 February 2017. Archived from the original on 1 March 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- Öcal, Hakki (26 February 2017). "Readdressing the creation of buffer zones in Syria". Daily Sabah. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- "Turkish military: Al-Bab fully taken from ISIL". Hürriyet Daily News. 24 February 2017. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- "BREAKING: Kurdish-led SDF to handover huge section of territory to SAA". 2 March 2017. Archived from the original on 15 March 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- ""Syrian Kurds cede buffer as Turkish Backed FSA advances on Manbij" Al-Monitor". Archived from the original on 9 March 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- "Syria FSA Vows Attack Government Forces Al Bab". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 22 March 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- Rami Raj (25 September 2017). "Al-Hamzah Group (all partners): The opening of the military college is a step in the formation of the (National Army)". All4Syria. Archived from the original on 25 September 2017. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
- Lowen, Mark. "#Syrian opposition police drill in #Azaz, supported by #Turkish military. The two sides working closely together in ground and air offensive against #YPGpic.twitter.com/YYJu12uhLb".[better source needed]
- "Erdogan: Operation in Syria's Afrin has begun". www.aljazeera.com. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
- "Turkish special forces head to Afrin". Kuwait News Agency. 23 January 2018. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
- "Turkish military sends reinforcements to Afrin for 2nd phase of Operation Olive Branch (photos)". 28 February 2018. Archived from the original on 5 July 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "Breaking: Turkish-backed rebels capture strategic town in Afrin". 1 February 2018. Archived from the original on 25 June 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- Bethan McKernan Beirut. "Afrin latest: Turkey deploys special forces for 'new phase of battle' as Kurdish leader arrested in Prague". The Independent. Archived from the original on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- Sputnik. "Turkish Forces, Free Syrian Army Reportedly Capture Town of Rajo Near Afrin - Sputnik International". Sputniknews.com. Archived from the original on 20 March 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "Turkey: Military seizes control of Jandaris from Kurdish YPG | Syria News". Al Jazeera. 8 March 2018. Archived from the original on 20 March 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "Afrin: Turkish forces 'encircle' Syrian Kurdish city - BBC News". Bbc.com. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- 13 Mar 2018 15:59 GMT (13 March 2018). "Turkey forces encircle Kurdish-controlled centre of Afrin | Turkey News". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "Syria war: Turkey-backed forces oust Kurds from heart of Afrin". BBC. Archived from the original on 18 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
- "Turkish forces continue to clear mines in Afrin". Archived from the original on 26 June 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- "Eid preparations in full swing in Syria's Afrin". Archived from the original on 26 June 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
- الفضائية, قناة الجسر (17 August 2019). "#عاجل | مراسل الجسر: وصول تعزيزات عسكرية من الجيش الوطني إلى جبهات ريف #إدلب الجنوبي للمشاركة بالأعمال العسكرية ضد قوات النظام". @jisrtv (in Arabic). Retrieved 17 August 2019.
- ""Ahrar Alsharqiya" sends reinforcements to Idlib and Hama countryside's fronts (Video)". www.qasioun-news.com. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
- "Syrian rebels ban Kurdish flag in Aleppo". ARA News. 27 March 2016. Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
- "Commander of Kurdish FSA brigade: 'Federalism is not an effective system for Syria'". Syria:direct. 11 April 2016. Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
- "Ahrar Al-Sham Denies Burning The Syrian Revolution Flag By Its Fighters In Azaz". Qasioun. 27 September 2016. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
- "FSA troops in border clash". Cumhuriyet. 14 November 2016.
- "Syrian rebels battle each other north of Aleppo". Reuters. 14 November 2016. Archived from the original on 3 July 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
- Wladimir van Wilgenburg (5 April 2017). "Tensions increase between Turkey-backed rebels in Northern Aleppo". ARA News. Archived from the original on 8 June 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
- "Fighting between factions of the "free" in the village north of Aleppo due to mutual accusations of "corruption"". SMART News Agency. 13 April 2017. Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- Fehim Tastekin (29 May 2017). "Turkey making itself at home in Syria". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 29 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- "Levant Front stormed the headquarters of the Sham Legion north of Aleppo, demanding the surrender of its elements". Al Etihad Press. 22 May 2017. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- Khaled Khatib (26 May 2017). "Aleppo: opposition to end "the Knights of the Revolution"". Al-Modon. Archived from the original on 29 May 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
- Nabih, Ibn (2 June 2017). "After being booted out, Faylaq al-Sham gave the option to Maghawir al-Islam/Liwa al-Shimal sub-factions to remain in, some accepted".
- Uğur Ergan (15 June 2017). "Turkey confirms internal fight in Free Syrian Army". Hürriyet Daily News. Archived from the original on 29 August 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
- Wladimir van Wilgenburg (4 July 2017). "Turkey-backed rebel group refuses to attack Kurdish town north Syria". ARA News. Archived from the original on 5 July 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Mohammad Abdulssattar Ibrahim; Maria Nelso (23 August 2017). "'Afrin is a red line': Kurdish FSA commander loses his faction after refusing to fight". Syria:direct. Archived from the original on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
- "A six-item agreement to end the fighting between Ahrar al-Sharqiya and Hamzah in Afrin". El-Dorar al-Shamia. 25 March 2018.
- "25 killed in infighting among Turkey-backed Syrian opposition groups in Afrin". kurdistan24. 18 November 2018.
- "YPG holds Turkey-backed rebels accountable for torturing Kurdish fighters". ARA News. 1 September 2016. Archived from the original on 21 October 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- "Syrian rebels captured by YPG confess to torturing Kurdish fighters". Rudaw Media Network. 1 September 2016. Archived from the original on 19 April 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
- Wladimir van Wilgenburg (13 June 2017). "Hundreds of Yezidi Kurds displaced, kidnapped by Turkey-backed rebels northwest Syria: Kurdish council". ARA News. Archived from the original on 13 June 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- "Continuous violations against people of Afrin city and countryside by the Turkish Forces and the factions supported by them". SOHR. 19 May 2019.
- "Kurdish politician and 10 others killed by 'Turkish-backed militia' in Syria, SDF claims". CNN. 13 October 2019.
- France-Presse, Agence (13 October 2019). "Female Kurdish politician among nine civilians killed by pro-Turkey forces in Syria, observers say". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
- "Groups of the Turkish forces, the factions belong to them and the Free Police storm a camp of displaced people in Afrin countryside and civil protests prevail among the displaced people". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 18 October 2018.
- Raed Borhan (27 January 2019). "National Army fighters torture doctor in Afrin". SMART News Agency.
- "Tel White: Correspondent bridge monitors violations against civilians by "national factions"". Jesr Press. 18 October 2019.
- "A video showing "Corps of Glory" elements representing a body of a fighter in the women's protection units in the countryside of Ain al-Arab (Kobani)". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 22 October 2019.