With Turkey openly backing Syrian rebel factions, control over the border crossings has been hotly contested between government troops and rebel forces, with rebels maintaining more or less solid control over several of the crossings.
So fighting at the crossings is nothing new, but Turkish officials were surprised today to report that the crossing at Bab al-Salameh is being contested not by the regime but by two separate rebel factions.
Exactly which factions are involved is unclear so far, but the crossing, which leads to the refugee camp at Kilis, would be a major possession for any rebel faction, and could give a faction the power to decide who gets weapons through the crossing, and who doesn’t.
The fighting is going on at the same time as a major conference on leadership in one of the key rebel umbrella groups. In the end, however, positions within the rebellion may be more dictated by fighting on the ground than by negotiations in Qatar.
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