NORTH & EAST SYRIA: Ahrar al-Sharqiya takes over relief organization headquarters in Afrin; Turkey prepares more Syrian jihadist militants for Libya

TEL ABYAD, Syria – The Turkish-backed extremist militant faction Ahrar al-Sharqiya took control of the headquarters of a civilian organization called Bahar Relief Organization in the city of Afrin. Members of the relief organization had been severely beaten by the terrorist militants and then were expelled from the organization. The faction’s militant members also controlled another center of the same organization adjacent to its headquarters called Afrin Maternity Center.

The Ahrar al-Sharqiya faction is considered one of the most extremist and terrorist of the Turkish-backed factions. The faction has been accused of committing war crimes during its participation in the Turkish occupation of Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn) and Tel Abyad in October 2019.

In related news, Turkey has started transferring batches of fighters of the Syrian National Army (SNA), a collection of militias including several espousing Islamist ideologies, formed and funded by Turkey. The factions are transferred from the Tel Abyad region to Turkey, in preparation for their transfer to Libya. At the request of the Turkish Intelligence agency, the SNA leadership has listed the names of more than 2,200 SNA extremists who are to be sent to Libya. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the number of Syrian militants who arrived in Turkey to receive further military training before being sent to Libya has reached 2,500 militants.

Turkey has already transferred about 7,400 militants, most of whom are Syrians, to Libya to fight with the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj against the forces of Khalifa Haftar who is supported by some Arab countries.