The Defense Ministry in the so-called Syrian Interim Government launched on February 27 a large security operation against “terrorists” and “criminals” in Turkish-occupied areas in northern and northeastern Syria.
In a statement, the ministry said that the Syrian National Army (SNA) will target “terrorist cells, criminal gangs and the tails of terrorist groups,” during the operation.
“The slogan of the SNA in this operation will be to eradicate terrorism, extend security and stability, preserve human rights, and adhere to the provisions of international law,” the statement reads.
The defense ministry claimed that the operation was launched following a meeting between the Interim Government and SNA commanders.
However, problems quickly surfaced due to the lack of any real coordination. The al-Shamiya Front, one of the largest SNA factions, prevented any forces taking part in the operation from entering its areas. Another SNA faction, Ahrar al-Sharqiyah, took a similar stand.
The operation, which appears to be a complete failure, was highly criticized by opposition activists. The SNA carried out several similar operations in the last few years, all of which failed.
Turkish-occupied areas in northern and northeastern Syria experienced a series of bombings in the last three years. Hundreds were killed or injured.
The new operation is more of a propaganda stunt. According to some activists, SNA militants themselves facilitate bombings and criminal activities in Turkish-occupied areas in exchange for bribes.
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