Erdogan Forms 'Syrian National Army'. Wait, What?

Erdogan now has a Syrian Janissary corps. He also has a cute name for it

Tue, May 30, 2017 | 3851 Comments
Turkish-paid rebels and a burning Turkish transporter near al-Bab last year

What is a Sultan without a Janissary corps? Not a whole lot.

Perhaps this is why Turkey has now formed the Syrian National Army. 

Yes, that's right. It's a Syrian "national army" formed by Turkey.

Erdogan has been talking about such a force for months now – since February earlier this year.

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A new report reveals first steps have already been made. There are now indeed Syrians calling themselves "the National Army" in Turkish employ.

 

You'll recall Ergodan invaded northern Syria last year and eventually took the Syrian city of al-Bab. On their way the Turkish military was accompanied by thousands of Syrian Islamist rebels from dozens of different groups. In fact Turkey earlier hoped the Syrian groups would be able to march on al-Bab by themselves but that ended in fiasco.

The reason why Erdogan needed al-Bab was primarily to frustrate Kurdish ambitions in Syria. That is to say it was not directly aimed against Damascus which is why Russia tolerated it.

Furtermore, because the operation was primarily about narrow Turkish interests many rebels resented the fighters who vacated rebel-held Idlib to accompany the Turks on their adventure into northern Aleppo. 

At the same time many did join the Turkish-sponsored adventure, including elements from hard-core outfits like Ahrar al-Sham (but not al-Nusra). It was an opportunity to carve out new turf, the revolution they were abandoning in Idlib had stalled anyway, and Turks did pay well, and on time, after all.

Now it seems that the Turks have decided that since they're the ones paying the wages of all these fighters they might as well try to consolidate as many as possible into a single Turkish-controlled army.

The new Syrian 'National Army'.

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