Middle East

80,000 Militants enjoy Turkey’s support in fight against Syrian govt.

According to data collected by sources from the battlefield in Syria and given to Press TV, there are roughly 80,000 militants who enjoy Turkey’s support in their fight against the Syrian government.

Some 38,500 militants are operating under the banner of the National Front for Liberation, which is a coalition of 15 factions, and include the Sham Legion and Ahrar al-Sham.

These militants are scattered in the northern countryside of the provinces of Hama and Latakia as well as the western, northern and southern countryside of Aleppo, and the eastern, northern and southern countryside of Idlib.

Idlib has been a flash point over the past weeks. Syrian forces are in the middle of a battle against militants backed Ankara there.

On Tuesday, Syrian forces intercepted and targeted a drone belonging to the Turkish military while flying in the skies over a strategic city in Idlib.

Turkish F-16 warplanes on the same day downed an L-39 type warplane belonging to the Syrian government over Idlib.

The al-Qaeda affiliated Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is also among the militant groups backed by Turkey. It was formerly known as al-Nusra Front and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham. Led by Abu Muhammad al-Golani, it consists of 18,000 militants, according to the data.

Turkey also backs the anti-Damascus ‘Free Syrian Army,’ whose 22,000 militants are present in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo. The group is commanded by Haitham al-Ofeisi.

-Militants enjoy Turkey’s support

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