The “Syrian National Army “, a major insurgent group loyal to Turkey has assembled a massive force of fighters in preparation for a major offensive operation in northern Syria against US-backed Kurdish YPG militants.
The Reuters news agency has quoted a spokesperson for the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army saying that the group has mustered no less than 14,000 fighters for the planned combat operation.
According to Turkish President Tayyip Recap Erdogan, the operation Turkey is planning against YPG militias (fighting under the of the Syrian Democratic Forces) will likely target these groups “east of the Euphrates River”.
There exists suspicions that the operation will also target YPG sites west of the Euphrates around Manbij and or Tal Riffat.
A 14,000-strong battle group effectively translates to a division-sized force in conventional military terms. The Syrian National Army group likely has an array of heavy equipment (howitzers, tanks and armored personnel carriers) to support its infantry.
The Syrian National Army has been raised, trained and equipped by Turkey. The group is under the direct command of Turkish military forces in Syria and serves as the spearhead of any combat operation that Ankara undertakes in the country.