Rival Turkish-based Takfiri militants have turned against each other and engaged in fierce exchanges of fire in Syria’s northern provinces of Hasakah and Raqqah, as they seek to consolidate their grip on areas under their control, have a lion share of stolen assets, and be in charge of smuggling routes.
Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing local sources, said bloody infighting has been going on between militants affiliated with the Hamza Division, which is affiliated with the so-called Free Syrian Army and trained and equipped by the United States and Turkey, on the outskirts of Ras al-Ayn city in Hasakah province over the past few days.
The report added that rival militants have been attacking each other’s positions intensely, using heavy and semi-heavy weapons.
SANA noted that while the reason behind the clashes remained unknown, several Takfiri terrorists had been killed and injured as a result.
The development comes a few days after fierce clashes erupted between Turkish-affiliated militant groups in Syria’s northern province of Raqqah.
SANA said clashes broke out between elements of the Turkish-backed Ahrar al-Sharqiya and Sham Legion militant groups in Ayn Issa, al-Sharkarak and Hammam al-Turkman areas on Friday.
Turkey has deployed forces in Syria in violation of the Arab country's territorial integrity.
Ankara-backed militants were deployed to northeastern Syria in October 2019 after Turkish military forces launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion in a declared attempt to push fighters of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) away from border areas.
Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other senior officials have said Damascus will respond through all legitimate means available to the ongoing ground offensive by Turkish forces in the northern part of the Arab country.
US military forces brings in new reinforcements to bases in northeastern Syria
Moreover, US forces have deployed new military equipment in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah, amid Washington’s attempts to further loot natural resources in the war-ravaged Arab country.
Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told SANA that US occupation forces removed part of the earthen berm near al-Ya'rubiyah town on Saturday, and brought in 8 armored vehicles to support their bases in the region.
The source added that the deployment took place as a number of US military aircraft were flying overhead.
The US military has stationed forces and equipment in eastern and northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.
Damascus, however, says the unlawful deployment is meant to plunder the country’s resources.
Former US president Donald Trump admitted on several occasions that American forces were in Syria for its oil.
After failing to oust the Syrian government with the help of its proxies and direct involvement in the conflict, the US government has now stepped up its economic war on the Arab country.