BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:05 P.M.) – Turkish-backed militant forces in northern Aleppo continue to expand their ranks and military capabilities. The latest development in this regard is the graduation of hundreds of new fighters with heavy weapons.
Yesterday, the SMAART news agency released video footage of a military parade held in the rural Aleppo town of al-Bab by graduating forces of the Free Syrian Army-linked Hamza Division.
According to reports the ceremony took place on Saturday and witnessed the graduation of 600 fighters – a battalion sized force – armed with tanks and gun-trucks and outfitted with contemporary military uniforms.
The FSA Hamza Division, in addition to being Turkish-backed, also use to be trained and equipped by the United States, however it is unclear whether or not the rebel formation still receives support from Washington whose changing priorities in Syria have led it to support Kurdish-led forces, much to the displease of Ankara.