Tuesday, August 14

Just move right in, make yourself at home

In a related move by Turkey in Northern Syria on Friday, the Afrin Local City Council affiliated to the Ankara-backed Free Army embarked on renaming streets and squares in the town. 
The sources said that some of the streets and squares were named after Turkish figures, adding that the names of streets were written in both Arabic and Turkish alphabets.

They went on to say that the Ankara-backed militants changed al-Saraya Square to Recep Tayyip Erdogan Square and Kawa Square to Olive Branch Square, which was the codename of a military operation by the Turkish troops in the region.
The above is from an August 13 report from FARS headlined Civilians in Northwestern Syria Engage in Heavy Fighting with Turkish ArmyI think the Ankara-backed "Free Army" may also be called the "Syrian National Army" although it's a murky situation. From Wikipedia's article on the Free Syrian Army:
A formal organisation at its founding, its structure gradually dissipated by late 2012, and the FSA identity has since been used arbitrarily by various opposition groups.


After the Turkish military intervention in Syria in 2016, an informal group of Turkish-backed Arabs and Turkmen was established under the name "Free Syrian Army",[20] with on-ground support of an organised military backed by Turkish and British airpower.[21] The group closely cooperates with Turkish troops in Syria.[22]
Anyhow, it's unclear whether it was civilians or civilians with the help of one faction or another of the Free Syrian Army -- not to be confused with the Turkey-backed Free Army or Syrian National Army -- who reportedly fought with Turkish troops. 

What's clear is that the Turks are settling their butts into the Syrian side of the northwestern border. The report I linked to about a Syrian National Army mentions "At least five branches of the Turkish post office have opened in the area."


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