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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Free Syrian Army rebel groups are ready to enter insurgent-controlled areas of northwest Syria with the backing of Turkish forces, a senior official in the Liwa al-Mutasem group, which is participating in the operation, said on Saturday.

However, the groups, which are part of the Euphrates Shield campaign waged since last year further east on Turkey's border with Syria, have not yet begun the operation, Mustafa Sejari, a senior official in the FSA's Liwa al-Mutasem group, said.

(Reporting by Suleiman al-Khalidi in Amman, writing by Angus McDowall in Beirut, editing by Alexander Smith)

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