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US Backed Militant Group in Syria Appoints Former ISIS Chief as Commander

The US-backed notorious militant group, the Syria Free Army (SFA), has appointed a former ISIS chief as their commander.

The commander, Salem Turki al-Antari from Palmyra, joined ISIS in 2014 and was known as Abu Saddam al-Ansari. He was selected by the extremist group as the Emir of the Badia desert region in Homs. Antari was known to partake in ISIS’s takeover of Palmyra and the battles with the Syrian army, which led to the destruction of some of Syria’s most renowned cultural heritage. 

Antari later became part of the Ahrar al-Sharqiyah faction of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) militant coalition in 2017.

Following the fall of Raqqa to US-backed Kurds in 2017, the SNA assisted several ISIS fighters and comrades to flee into SNA territory, to further employ them in their factions. 

Antari joined the formerly named Maghawir al-Thawra armed group, now named Syria Free Army (SFA), which is US-backed and trained. 

The US army has been effectively training these militants inside Al-Tanf while claiming it is to brace for confrontation against ISIS.

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