Leader of Russian-backed Brigade in Syria’s Daraa visits Turkey

IDLIB, Syria (North Press) – Ahmad al-Awda, leader of the Eighth Brigade of Russian-backed Fifth Corps, is on a visit to Turkey at the latter’s invitation, opposition media outlets circulated on Sunday.

This came after Turkey changed the position of its security official responsible for the Syrian issue to take his tasks as an ambassador for Turkey in Jordan.

The Eighth Brigade was established on the ruins of the Shabab al-Sunna faction headed by Ahmad al-Awda of the Syrian opposition during its control of southern Syria. 

The Eighth Brigade has been assigned by Russia for several missions over the past years, the first of which was in Yarmouk Basin area and hunting down the remnants of the Islamic State (ISIS).

In July 2018, the Syrian opposition armed factions and government forces reached a settlement agreement mediated by Russia in the opposition-held areas in Daraa Governorate. Under the deal, the opposition militants who agreed to hand over their heavy weapons were handed a settlement card and allowed to stay in Daraa, while those opposed the agreement would go to Idlib, which is under the control of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, formerly al-Nusra Front).

Since the government forces re-captured Daraa in 2018, the governorate has been living in a state of insecurity, with one or two daily assassinations targeting soldiers and officers of the government forces, not to mention the spread of thefts.

Reporting by Fansa Temmo