It is unclear how many battalions in Syria have groups operating in Turkey. And there is no way of knowing who is affiliated with which opposition group
when they cross the border. Some affiliate themselves with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), while others align with the Jabhat al-Nusra Front. And some groups
are not affiliated with any opposition group in particular but call themselves "freelance fighters."
Each opposition group functions similarly. Battalions in Syria send "representatives" to Turkey to lobby for money and weapons. Some are young men who have
volunteered for the position, while others are high-ranking officials who are ordered to go to Turkey from Saleem Edris, the leader of the FSA. The number
of trips in and out of Syria varies by each group. Some travel to Turkey more often than others depending on what resources they need. Other groups send
representatives to Turkey to live permanently. Depending on the affiliation of each group, representatives will work together by exchanging information
about potential funders.
Opposition leaders on the Syrian border said in a series of interviews that several high-profile opposition members have been kidnapped over the last two
years, including Hussein Harmoush, a former military lieutenant who defected in 2011 via a YouTube video that went viral. At least two kidnappings have
been linked to the Syrian mukhabarat, or secret service.
Turkish officials in Reyhanli said last week that the people who carried out the bombings were connected with the Syrian mukhabarat. According to
news reports, suspects admitted that the initial attack was supposed to take place in Antakya, where the majority of opposition leaders and soldiers live.
An FSA lieutenant living and working in Reyhanli for battalions in Yabroud, Syria says the Syrian mukhabarat is working with Turkish Alawites.
"Assad is trying to make the conflict come to Turkey because Turkey is helping the refugees," he says. "They are trying to make the refugees go back home."
Turkey is home to more than 250,000 Syrian refugees, most of whom live in one of the country's 17 refugee camps. For the past two years, the camps in Turkey
provided Syrians with a place to live away from the shellings and gunfire that have killed well over 75,000 people. But the bombings in Reyhanli created a
new sense of fear for the refugees.
The refugees living in Turkey are mostly Sunni Muslims and live in Hatay Province -- an area with a large Alawite community. Many Turkish citizens living
in Hatay are openly against the Syrian presence in the country, especially after the bombing in Reyhanli.
In the days following the bombings, Turkish citizens protested in the streets, blaming the government for opening its doors too widely to the Syrians.
Hatice Can, a lawyer in Antakya affiliated with the United Nations Refugee Agency, says sectarian divisions are growing stronger with each passing month.
She says Alawites are "afraid of the Islamists" who have come into Turkey and are organizing and gaining support in the camps.