Al-Modon obtained information confirming the presence of Ahmed al-Awda, commander of the Eighth Brigade of the Russian-backed Fifth Corps, in the Turkish city of Istanbul. This followed news of Awda’s sighting on one of the city’s streets.
Awda was leading the Free Syrian Army’s “Sunni Youth” faction. After reaching the southern agreement in the summer of 2018, which was sponsored by Russia and led to the fall of southern Syria (Daraa and Quneitra) to the Syrian regime, he was entrusted by Russia with the task of forming the Eighth Brigade of the factions (soldiers of settlements) previously, after being attached to the Fifth Corps of the regime forces.
Awda resides in the city of Busra al-Harir, the largest city in the eastern countryside of Daraa, from where he leads his faction. It still wields strong power throughout the Daraa governorate.
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Awda arrived in Istanbul a few days ago from Jordan, which means, according to Al-Modon sources, that his visit to Turkey was carried out with the consent of Jordan and Russia, of course.
One of those close to Awda said to the al-Modon that the visit, although under the title of “tourism,” has other goals behind it. He pointed to the security conditions that are moving towards more complexity in southern Syria, due to the preoccupation of Russia, the strongest decision-maker in the region, by invading Ukraine at the expense of the Syrian issue.
He pointed out that the purpose of the visit may be one of two things: a consultation with Ankara on the restructuring of the National Coalition; or that Awda is forwarding a proposal from Jordan that seeks to market an “Arab” initiative for a political solution in Syria.
In late 2021, Awda visited Moscow after news broke that he had been removed from the command of the Eighth Brigade, but it later turned out to be false news.
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.