BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:20 P.M.) – The Turkish-backed militants have amassed at a Turkish border that is adjacent to the key Tal Abyad crossing into Syria’s Al-Raqqa Governorate, pro-militant media channels reported on Tuesday.
The militant group, Ahrar Al-Sharqiyah, which is part of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), posted a photo of their forces near Tal Abyad on Tuesday; they are reportedly awaiting orders to storm the town and expel the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Ahrar Al-Sharqiyah, like many militant groups in northern Syria, are embedded with the Turkish Armed Forces in the northern countryside of the Aleppo Governorate.
While the Free Syrian Army claims to be an independent entity, they specifically take orders from the Turkish Armed Forces, who, in turn, provide them with both security and equipment.
In their upcoming operation, Ahrar Al-Sharqiyah will be squaring off against the Syrian Democratic Forces. The latter has controlled Tal Abyad since they defeated the Islamic State during a border operation in 2016.