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Has the Syrian Opposition Reached the End of the Road?

Syrian opposition groups refrained from directly criticizing Turkey's foreign policy, according to Haid Haid in the al-Arab Newspaper.
Has the Syrian Opposition Reached the End of the Road?

Turkey’s efforts to normalize diplomatic relations with the Syrian regime have sparked concern among Syrian armed opposition groups.

Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) was among the most worried. While some armed groups may be able to survive the regime’s territorial expansion, HTS is unlikely to be among them. The group is classified as a terrorist organization in the records of Ankara and Damascus due to its past association with al-Qaeda.

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HTS leader Abu Muhammad al-Julani was quick to denounce the Syrian-Turkish rapprochement. Tahrir al-Sham has intensified its attacks against the Syrian regime in recent weeks. It reportedly carried out 11 operations against regime forces in December.

The opposition group refrained from directly criticizing Turkey’s foreign policy but was more outspoken behind closed doors. Local sources told me that the commission held a meeting in December with Turkish officials, during which its leaders expressed concern about reconciliation with Syria and renewed their commitment to respect agreements with Ankara.

In such a scenario, HTS would likely use its diplomatic channels with Ankara first to reach a compromise allowing it to preserve its interests to the fullest extent possible. This could include, for example, withdrawing from specific areas in Idlib in exchange for expansion in northern Aleppo.

The group will then undoubtedly resort to more aggressive means to ensure survival without a mutually acceptable compromise with Turkey.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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