Turkey-Backed Militants Withdraw from Villages Near Al-Bab without Serious Clashes with ISIL



The Turkey-backed militants operating in Northern Syria within the framework of the Euphrates Shield operation retreated from 13 strategic villages near al-Bab in Aleppo to open way for the ISIL’s operations, media activists said on Wednesday.

According to the Lebanese al-Safir newspaper, the ISIL occupied Bor’an, al-Wash, Tanouza, Salsana, Job al-Asi, Dawir al-Hawa, Houmad, Salasina, al-Barouza and a number of other villages in a surprise attack on Tuesday following a rapid withdrawal of the Euphrates Shield operation forces.

A large number of media activists reported that no real clashes happened between the ISIL and the Turkey-backed militants, and the Euphrates Shield operation forces fled the scene en masse.

Hawar news agency, close to the Kurdish forces, accused Turkey of ordering his forces to retreat from the villages in the South of Akhtarin region near al-Bab.

The agency said the move by Turkey was part of a joint operational plan with the ISIL against the Kurdish troops in the regions under their control.

Meantime, analysts believe that Turkey is trying to derail attention and project the source of its numerous internal problems by military intervention in Iraq and Syria.

“What Turkey is doing in Syria and Iraq can merely be described as a risk,” Colonel Reza Shariqi told FNA on Wednesday.

“Turkey seeks to export its internal problems to outside its borders by misusing the conditions ruling Iraq and Syria,” he added.

Noting that Ankara’s acts will not change the situation on the ground, Shariqi said the allies of Damascus will not allow any foreign side to intervene in Syria and disintegrate it.

His remarks came after al-Safir wrote on Tuesday that Turkey, supported by the US, continues occupation of lands in Northern Syria within the framework of the Euphrates Shield operation, disclosing that Ankara is setting up a military base in the region.

According to the newspaper, Turkey is implementing the scenario played in Iraq’s Bashiqa now in a village in Northern Aleppo.

The suspicious moves of certain Turkish army units near al-Zareh village in the Southern parts of al-Rae’i town (near the Syrian-Turkish border) show that Ankara is seriously pursuing establishment of a military base in Northern Syria.

According to the newspaper, the goal of such moves is setting up a military base, airbase or camp by the Turkish army under the pretext of the Euphrates Shield operation.

Informed sources said on Sunday that Ankara had dispatched more soldiers and military equipment to the Northern territories of Syria to strengthen its Euphrates Shield Operation.

“The Turkish Army has sent more forces to Jindris region at the Turkish border with Syria in Northwestern Aleppo,” the sources said.

News sources, for their part, said on Monday that Ankara has dispatched reinforcement to two border regions of Qarqmish and Ugozeli in Gaziantep in Southern Turkey.

Ankara has also forwarded a number of tanks, military vehicles and equipment to its borders.

Turkey has deployed its forces in the Northern Iraqi town of Bashiqa despite Baghdad’s objections.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said last month that Turkish troops will remain in the camp.

“There are soldiers from 63 countries in Iraq. Claims toward Turkey about its military presence in Iraq are an unfriendly step. Turkey will maintain its presence in the country,” Yildirim said.

Turkey claims that deployment of troops and tanks is to help the Iraqi national forces reclaim the city of Mosul from the ISIL but it has caused a rift with Iraq.

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