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Turkish Army, FSA Terrorist Allies Take Control of Key Road in Northern Syrian

21 December 2016 15:04



The Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants and Turkish army troops seized control of a key road connecting Aleppo city to al-Bab town after hours of clashes with the ISIL, the Turkish army announced Wednesday.

The army announced in a statement that the forces of the Euphrates Shield managed to take control of Aleppo-Al-Bab road after they could advance against ISIL in the nearby silos and captured Jabal Aqil heights.

The statement added that four Turkish soldiers and a fighter of FSA were killed in the clashes with the ISIL over the key road.

Turkish warplanes bombed several times the Syrian territories in al-Bab under the pretext of hitting ISIL’s positions.

The Turkish Army General Staff announced earlier this week that an army soldier was killed and nine more were wounded in explosion of a bomb-laden vehicle near al-Bab.

The number of Turkish army’s casualties have reached 20 since start of is Euphrates Shield.

Clashes are still underway between ISIL and FSA fighter inside and in surroundings of al-Bab.

Last week, the ISIL started withdrawing from the town of al-Bab as part of a scenario which was previously unveiled by battlefield sources according to which the ISIL terrorists intend to give the control of al-Bab to the Turkish-backed militants and pave the way for their capture of Manbij after ISIL’s offensive and capture of the city, media reports said.

“The ISIL terrorists started withdrawing from al-Bab city on Friday after the Euphrates Shield Forces supported by Turkey could take control of the city’s clinic,” the Arabic-language media quoted unnamed battlefield sources as saying.

After recapturing Manbij from ISIL by Kurdish forces, al-Bab and Deir Hafer turned into the largest bases of ISIL in Aleppo province

Field sources said late November that the ISIL shifted plans to launch new offensive to reoccupy the Kurdish-ruled city of Manbij to surrender both Manbij and al-Bab to the Turkey-backed militants in a later move after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his troops’ incursion into Syria was meant to fight and topple President Bashar Al-Assad.

Reports said that the ISIL has started a new scenario in the regions near Manbij in coordination with the Turkish government and has attempted in the past few days to reoccupy the villages in the Western and Northwestern parts of the Kurdish-held Manbij with the help of the Turkish forces who are stationed in the Northern villages.

According to field sources, the ISIL terrorists have also agreed to evacuate the strategic city of al-Bab in several stages and reoccupy Manbij again so that the Turkish government will be able to deploy forces in the city under the pretext of fighting against terrorism.

Sources in the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) also disclosed that the US forces stationed in Northern Syria have also agreed with the Turkish scenario and have instead promised the Kurdish forces to give them control of the Southern parts of Raqqa province.

A Syrian official also underlined early December that Ankara is technically at war with Damascus given its lack of coordination with the Syrian army in al-Bab city.

“Considering its campaign against the terrorist groups in Aleppo, the Syrian army is fighting against Turkey indirectly” as the latter is in on the opposite side and helping the terrorists in the same region, Samir Sulayman, a high-ranking official at Syria’s defense ministry, said.

He added that since the Syrian army is fighting against the terrorists in different parts of the country, specially Aleppo, it has indirectly entered a battle against Turkey because the terrorist groups are enjoying Ankara’s arms support and consultations.

The ISIL stronghold city of al-Bab Northeast of Aleppo is on the verge of a major war among the Syrian army, the Kurds and the Turkey-backed forces that are part of Turkey’s Euphrates Shield Operation.

Military sources had disclosed in mid September that a large number of Syrian soldiers were deployed at Kuweires airbase to start military operations against the terrorists in al-Bab.

“Hundreds of Syrian soldiers are now in Kuweires airbase 40 kilometers to the east of Aleppo city to start al-Bab military operations against the ISIL terrorist group,” the Arabic-language media quoted an unnamed military source as saying.

Also, another source said in mid November that the Syrian army has sent around 1,000 reinforcement troops to the Eastern countryside of Aleppo to start the operation that aims to create a safe zone in areas in the vicinity of Kuweires airbase, including al-Bab, adding that the Syrian government troops’ military operation in al-Bab region is also meant to block further advances of the Turkey-backed terrorists in al-Bab region.

Experts believe that Syrian army’s operations in al-Bab and Deir Hafer that are entrance gates to Raqqa province signify the government forces plan to start an attack on Raqqa soon, while the Kurdish forces have also started a large-scale offensive on Raqqa, codenamed Euphrates Rage Operation.

Turkey declared on August 24 that its Army has launched ‘Euphrates Shield’ military operation in Syria, as Ankara claims that it began to cleanse the ISIL terrorists from its border with the Arab country.

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