Why are Turkish-allied formations collapsing in Syria?

IDLIB — Sources near Sultan Soleman Shah Brigade, one of many largest factions of the Syrian Liberation Front, mentioned that the brigade has successfully withdrawn from the entrance to hitch the Thaeeroun Movement of Azm Operations Room

Five factions within the Syrian National Army in September introduced their full integration and formation of the Syrian Liberation Front: Sultan Soleman Shah Brigade, Al-Hamza Division, Al-Mu’tasim Division, Suqur al-Shamal Brigade and Division 20.

The entrance designated Mutasim al-Abbas as chief in early September, however he defected together with the Suqur al-Shamal Brigade and Division 20. As a end result, the entrance began to interrupt up. But since these two factions didn’t have many members, their defection was much less impactful than that of Sultan Soleman Shah Brigade, which counts many skilled fighters and ammunition. 

Azm Operations Room is fashioned by a lot of factions within the Syrian National Army, which began with the Levant Front and Sultan Murad divisions, after which have been joined by Ahrar al-Sharqiya and Malakshah divisions, Jaish al-Islam, Jaish al-Sharqiya, and Suqur al-Shamal Brigade.

“The challenge of the Syrian Liberation Front is predicated on the whole integration of 5 factions,” Mohammad Sarmini, the Turkey-based head of the Jusoor Center for Studies, told Al-Monitor, “and due to this fact the majority of the entrance disintegrated, as three factions left.” What happens next, he said, depends on whether the last two factions can integrate.

He added, “Perhaps the most important reason for the three factions’ defection from the front is their feeling that Al-Mu’tasim and Al-Hamza Divisions are controlling the project and its main offices, as well as the lack of readiness of these factions for full integration. They feel it is better for them to remain in their own turf or to join operation rooms.”

He stressed that the possible causes of strain among those remaining in the front are the difficult requirements for full integration on both sides, such as Al-Hamza Division’s greater number of men as opposed to Al-Mu’tasim Division’s higher level of organization and discipline. 

However, the difficulty of integrating does not mean they will easily abandon the project. The familial and regional balances between the Levant Front and Al-Mu’tasim Division inside Marea are among the most important reasons for Al-Mu’tasim Division’s adherence to the front’s project. Concerns about the alliance between the Levant Front and the Sultan Murad Division are the biggest security motive pushing Al-Hamza Division to hold on.

Factionalism remains a major stumbling block. Sarmini noted that the Azm Operations Room and the National Liberation Front “took adequate time for convergence and understandings on numerous points with out the presence of nice strain or threats pushing to fast integration. …These alliances are primarily based on uniting beneath working rooms the place coordination develops in a logical and gradual method; creating an acceptable ambiance for partial or main mergers in superior phases.”

He identified that, via the alliances and mergers, the factions need to defend themselves and their pursuits, and due to this fact the failure of integration typically advantages different alliances. Unfortunately, stability within the liberated areas nonetheless relies on the destiny of those alliances. Failure to arrange and lack of safety coordination creates loopholes from which the Syrian Democratic Forces and the regime profit.

“It is impossible to be certain that the Syrian Liberation Front is on the verge of disintegration, despite the large withdrawals that have occurred,” independent researcher Muhammad El-Sukkeri, who resides in Turkey, told Al-Monitor. “But, the importance of the front cannot be measured only in terms of the number of factions that remained, but also in their weight, such as Al-Hamza and Al-Mu’tasim Divisions, which constitute the weight of the front. The fact that these blocs remain coherent may keep the front’s project in place.”

Sukkeri does not think the Azm Operations Room is on the verge of disintegration, “especially since it has become a good polarizing environment for the factions withdrawing from the front. Therefore, Azm has to develop its work mechanisms in order to ensure survival and sustainability in terms of not rushing into total factional integration and merger.”

The Syrian regime is the one that will profit from the disintegration among the many National Army alliances, because it counts on factional chaos. Hayaat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) considers itself a coherent and united bloc, consequently, its challenge is a rival of the National Army’s challenge, which it needs to fail.