DAMASCUS, SYRIA – Heavy clashes erupted between the Turkish-sponsored Free Police and the Turkish-backed Euphrates Shield’s “Al-Muntaser Billah Brigade” inside the border town of Al-Rai located in Aleppo’s northeastern countryside.
A dispute between the two sides led to violent clashes breaking out and causing the death and injury of several fighters from each group. So far, it has been confirmed that 4 Free Syrian Army fighters were severely injured while 1 policeman was killed and 3 others injured.
As both groups are funded entirely by Turkey, the Turkish Army entered the town soon after the hostilities ceased to investigate the incident.
Two years after Operation Euphrates Shield, Turkey continues to struggle to maintain security in areas under its mandate and create the impression of a unified national rebel front under its guardianship.
Prior to the rebel seizure of the strategic town from ISIS in April 2016, Al-Rai switched hands over a dozen times before it finally fell under rebel control after intense battles as a result of the Turkish Army’s direct intervention on the side of its proxy rebel forces.