SNA meets Turkish officials, insists on HTS withdrawal from Afrin
The meeting concluded with forcing the factions not to coordinate with any foreign party before informing Turkey
By News Desk - November 03 2022

(Photo Credit: Muhammed Nur /Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Military sources in the Syrian National Army (SNA) operating in areas controlled by Turkish-backed armed groups in northern Syria revealed details of a meeting attended by officials from the Turkish army and intelligence in Gaziantep, southern Turkey.

The meeting resulted in a firm decision to completely expel Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its affiliated apparatus from the Olive Branch area (the Kurdish-majority Afrin District), amid talks of punitive measures against the factions that facilitated its entry into the area.

They also discussed dissolving the minor factions and integrating them into the components of the three SNA corps, warning that they will dismantle any military group for triggering infighting.

Concerning security, the source spoke of adopting a new approach to security management of the region by removing all the military faction’s checkpoints inside the cities, and handing them over to the military police for control.

Organizationally, the formation of an advisory coordination body between the SNA and the opposition Interim Government was proposed, to consult with the Turkish side in managing the region’s matters, as well as the unification of general economic imports among all factions in one fund under Turkish supervision.

Nonetheless, Turkey, via its foreign minister, renewed its call
for a reconciliation agreement between the warring sides on a constitution and a road map, including an electoral process.

A few days ago, opposition reports said that the Turkish forces in northwestern Syria began setting up a new military post in the Jabal al-Zawiya area, near the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), in Maarat al-Numan, with the aim of opening an exchange with government-held territories.

HTS stormed the Afrin region about two weeks ago, which resulted in clashes with the SNA, after which it left the area under a Turkish-mediated agreement.

Operation Olive Branch was a cross-border military operation conducted by the Turkish Armed Forces in January 2018 and the SNA in the Afrin district of northwest Syria against the People’s Protection Units (YPG) of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

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