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Why National Army Arrested Al-Mu’tasim Division Commander in Aleppo Countryside?

Athr Press says Abbas transformed the Mu'tasim Division into an investment entity.
Why National Army Arrested Al-Mu’tasim Division Commander in Aleppo Countryside?

Ankara’s National Army issued a decision on Wednesday to isolate and apprehend Mu’tasim Abbas, purported commander of the al-Mu’tasim Division, which controls the town of Marea in Aleppo countryside.

Local sources informed Athr Press that a military unit was dispatched to Mu’tasim Abbas’ headquarters to execute the arrest warrant, resulting in clashes between certain members of the Mu’tasim Division and the military unit deployed by the Ankara National Army.

These sources added that the skirmishes led to the death of Ahmed Abbas, brother of the Mu’tasim Division commander, and injuries to four others. Mu’tasim Abbas was subsequently apprehended and transferred to the military judicial system of the Ankara National Army.

Regarding the rationale behind the isolation and arrest of Mu’tasim Abbas, sources disclosed that the arrest stemmed from various factors, notably his misappropriation of funds earmarked as salaries for Mu’tasim Division members. Additionally, Abbas allegedly invested approximately $5 million over the past five years in properties, lands, and restaurants.

Leaked audio recordings purportedly featuring Aladdin Ayoub, a leader within the Ankara National Army, corroborated these claims, asserting that Abbas transformed the Mu’tasim Division into an investment entity. Ayoub also accused Abbas of fabricating charges against adversaries and engaging in property and real estate pillaging.

Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham involved

Ayoub further claimed that Abbas attempted to facilitate the entry of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra), which holds military sway in Idlib, into Marea. Allegedly, Abbas aimed to coordinate with Tahrir al-Sham to execute assassinations of military and civilian figures in Marea, branding them as corrupt. Ayoub asserted the existence of witnesses and a list of targeted individuals.

In this context, sources from Athr Press revealed that Ankara National Army leaders obtained intelligence indicating that Abbas conducted numerous meetings with HTS’ commander, Abu Muhammad al-Julani, over recent months. Abbas purportedly divulged security and military intelligence concerning Ankara National Army leaders to Julani in exchange for substantial financial sums and military assistance.

HTS previously endeavoured to advance towards Aleppo countryside areas through military incursions. The latest of these endeavours occurred on December 19, 2023, when it launched an assault on Azaz, a city controlled by Ankara-affiliated factions, with the aim of apprehending Jihad Issa al-Sheikh, known as Abu Ahmed Zakour, after his defection. The ensuing clashes between HTS militants and Ankara factions resulted in civilian casualties, injuries to Abu Ahmed Zakour’s brother and two companions, and the death of four gunmen from HTS. However, Zakour remained elusive.

It is worth noting that the Mu’tasim Division constitutes one of the elements of the Second Corps within the Ankara National Army, which is associated with Ankara. Mu’tasim Abbas, its commander, holds Turkish citizenship, akin to numerous military leaders within the Ankara National Army.


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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