Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of the powerful Islamist Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) group that controls large parts of Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, has called for the establishment of a “united administration” between his HTS-controlled territories and Syrian territories controlled by Turkey and its Syrian militia proxies.
Jolani was referring to the Turkish-occupied Kurdish region of Afrin that borders Idlib, which Turkey invaded in 2018, and the so-called Euphrates Shield Zone to its east, which Turkey seized from the Islamic State in Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016-17. Ankara used thousands of former Free Syrian Army (FSA) militiamen as proxies to invade and occupy these territories. These Turkish-backed FSA proxy groups call themselves the Syrian National Army (SNA).
“It is important that there is one authority, one set of institutions, and one authority to administer all the liberated areas controlled by the Syrian opposition,” Jolani said in…