The Saudi-owned news agency Alarabiya reports “Turkish-backed Syrian rebels entered ISIS-held town of Jarablus in northern Syria on Wednesday.”
The attack was assisted by “US-led coalition warplanes.”
According to the Associated Press the US has taken a direct role in the operation:
A senior U.S. administration official says U.S. advisers have been working closely with Turkey on plans for the operation launched against an Islamic State-held border town.
The official says the U.S. has been providing intelligence and air cover in an effort to soften up targets to aid the operation to retake Jarablus, which began early Wednesday.
Faylaq al-Sham, the Hamza brigade, Nour el-Din el Zinki brigade, and the Levant Front are involved in the incursion.
Nour el-Din el Zinki is supported by Saudi Arabia and the CIA. It is known for abducting and torturing journalists and humanitarian workers. It also beheaded a Palestinian boy during the northern Aleppo offensive.
The Levant Front represents a wide array of fanatical Salafists. It was led by Abdel-Aziz Salameh, the former leader of al-Tawhid Brigade killed in 2013. Al-Tawhid Brigade—named after Tawhid, the “oneness of God”—is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and supported by Qatar. It has called for the imposition of Sharia law in Syria.
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace describes Faylaq al-Sham, also known as the Sham Legion, as “Syria’s moderate Islamists.”
I guess this means their version of Wahhabi Islam is less fanatical than that of al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, or the Islamic State.
The Sham Legion is described as an alliance of Islamic groups, including elements from al-Qaeda. Other groups included in the Sham Legion are affiliated with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and and Shields of the Revolution Council. Both are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, an asset of British intelligence and the CIA.
Faylaq al-Sham participates in the Army of Conquest aka Jaish al-Fatah, a joint command center of Islamist Syrian rebel factions. It is run by a Saudi cleric, Abdullah al-Muhaysini and is actively supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
“I was an admirer of al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State of Iraq, and I thought they were victims of lies,” al-Muhaysini told the Swiss Islamic Central Council in 2015. He has reached out to the purported leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdad, and his now deceased number two man, Abu Ali al-Anbari.
Turkey’s operation in Syria, dubbed “Euphrates Shield, is a transparent effort to defeat the Kurds and undermine the effort of Bashar al-Assad to regain control of his country with help from Russia and Iran. It is not an offensive against the Islamic State. It is part of a larger effort, detailed by the Defense Intelligence Agency, to establish a Salafist principality in Syria.