BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:25 P.M.) – For days now, there have been reports that the Al-Qaeda affiliate group Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) is fighting alongside pro-Ankara forces – led by the Turkish Army – against Kurdish paramilitaries in Syria’s Afrin region.
The Turkish Army, its Free Syrian Army allies and now perhaps Al-Qaeda have all joined ranks to attack Kurdish paramilitary fighters in the region of Afrin according to reports by pro-jihadist and pro-government sources.
All reports – including those released by Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham itself – suggest that the Al-Qaeda affiliate is operating in the mountainous countryside near the town of Dart ‘Izza against the southernmost flank of Kurdish forces.
Indeed, Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham’s media wing released a report saying that the militia ‘restored’ two points near the town of Qalaat Samaan (north of Dart ‘Izza) from the control of Kurdish forces on January 23.
This means that even within a defensive capacity the militant group (designated as a terrorist organization by the United States) is operating inside of territory under the direct annexation of the Turkey Army from where it technically meant to be exempt.