Disputes escalate between Turkish-backed factions in occupied Syrian territory

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — Following Turkey’s decision to send some of its Syrian proxies to Libya earlier this year, areas under Turkish occupation — such as the cities of Cafrin (Afrin), Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn), and Tal Abyad — have witnessed increased confrontations and infighting between groups of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army after some of them refused to be sent abroad.

After the groups refused to be sent to fight in Libya, Turkey reportedly relocated a number of factions directly affiliated with Turkish intelligence maintain control of the occupied regions of Syria.

According to local sources from those areas, the Turkish-backed groups have started to take revenge against one another by planting explosive devices in cars, exacerbating an already chaotic situation.

In related news, the villages of Al-Qasimiya and Al-Rihaniya northwest of Tel Tamr have seen near daily confrontations employing heavy weapons and mortars between SNA-affiliated groups Sultan Murad Division and Jaish al-Islam over looted items. There are reportedly deaths and wounded among both sides.

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Syria released a 25-page report on Tuesday calling on Turkey to put an end to wide-spread war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed by its proxy forces, the Syrian National Army (SNA), in the areas under its occupation.

According to the report, there is significant evidence that the Turkish-backed SNA has committed, and continue to commit torture, murder, displacement, rape, and the looting of property.