Military conflict in northern Syria

Xρήματα, show, και συμπεριφορά ληστοσυμμορίτη…πολύ χειρότεροι από τον ISIS. Μία περιγραφή πολύ χρήσιμη για το μέλλον μας…

«But who exactly are the roughly 35,000 Syrian men fighting on Turkeys behalf in Syria?…All decisions, big and small, in the National Army’ are made by the operations room run by Turkish intelligence,” confirmed Mazen, a veteran rebel from Rastan, in the northern Homs countryside, now fighting in the ranks of the Levant Front, another SNA faction. He was echoing all my interviewees in admitting that decision-making was out of the hands of the Syrian commanders themselves. Mazen underwent training by Turkish military personnel in Turkey and Syria.

The fighters in the SNA are overwhelmingly Sunni men of humble backgrounds, much like the anti-Assad Syrian rebels. Almost all of them have lost homes, relatives, and friends to the Assad regime; a few have counted similar such losses to ISIS and the Kurdish-led SDF. The majority are internally displaced persons, from across Syrias governorates. They now live in a narrow stretch of land along the Turkish-Syrian border. While 83 percent of Syrians now live below the country’s poverty line of $6 per day, displaced persons are particularly vulnerable: they are disconnected from traditional sources of income such as farm work or family-owned shops, they have a limited support network where they now live, and they have to pay rent. This makes the displaced more likely to join armed groups.

When Turkey first created the framework of its Syrian factions, before the Euphrates Shield Operation, the salaries offered to fighters were extraordinarily high: $300 per month, paid in Turkish lira. Over time, salaries have declined. By the beginning of 2019, salaries had been cut to about $100 distributed every seven to eight weeks. That rate, of about $50 per month, is insufficient to cover even basic necessities, so fighters commonly have to rely on taking loans, family support, and criminal activities such as looting in order to make ends meet.

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