BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:19 P.M.) – The US-backed Free Syrian Army affiliate militia Jaysh al-Thuwar is sending major reinforcements from its basing near the city of Raqqa towards Afrin to assist allied Kurdish paramilitary units in their battle against the Turkish Army.
According to reports from pro-Kurdish sources, the rebel faction is sending virtually all of its manpower (stated at 1,200 fighters) and heavy equipment from Raqqa to Afrin in order to fight against Turkey-led forces.
Jaysh al-Thuwar has long been an ally of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), both having been incorporated into the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) anti-ISIS alliance upon its formation in October 2015.
Because of Jaysh al-Thuwar’s strong alliance to the YPG, it has never received support from Turkey unlike almost every other Free Syrian Army affiliate militia in the country. Given its relative strength within the SDF, it is considered a major faction of the anti-ISIS coalition.