Disparate rebel groups in northern Syria have fallen in line behind Ankara-backed project leading to Kurdish enclave defeat

The Syrian rebel commander Abu Ahmed was smiling. His troops had played a key role in Turkey’s assault on the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria, a fight they have won.

Abu Ahmed is a senior officer in the 10,000-strong rebel force that, with Turkish backing and instigation, took control of Afrin on Sunday after a two-month battle. His name has been changed, along with others, to freely discuss their sensitive relations with their backers in Ankara.

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Read More Syrian rebel victory in Afrin reveals strength of Turkish-backed force

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