Turkey’s Al-Bab Military Operation to Pave Way for Direct Syria-Turkey
“If Turkey wants to make up for its Aleppo defeat by launching fresh military operations in al-Bab, direct confrontation between the Syrian and Turkish armies will be of much likelihood,” Syrian political expert on Turkey and Kurds Khorshid Deli told FNA on Wednesday.
He reiterated that Turkey was the big loser of Aleppo battle, and said, “Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party imagined that the Aleppo battle would be the main bridge towards the collapse of the Syrian government.”
Deli underlined that the Syrian army’s control of Aleppo city has been a heavy blow on Turkey’s strategy towards the Syrian crisis and a slap across Erdogan’s face.
“The terrorists’ defeat in Eastern Aleppo not only put an end to the strategy of overthrowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, but also discredited Turkey in the eyes of the terrorists that had been told by Turkey that Assad would fall,” he added.
Deli warned that Erdogan might want to intensify attacks on Aleppo in order to compensate for its defeats in Aleppo city.
On December 1, Syrian military aircraft targeted positions of the Free Syrian Army terrorists in the area of al-Bab in Aleppo province and halted the advance of the Turkey-backed militants in the area.
The bombing carried out by the Syrian Air Force on the positions of the Free Syrian Army militants in the area of al-Bab, previously controlled by ISIL, had halted the advance of the FSA fighters.
After recapturing Manbij from ISIL by Kurdish forces, al-Bab and Deir Hafer have turned into the largest bases of ISIL in Aleppo province.
In late November, a Syrian official underlined 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 explained 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.
Sources close to the Syrian dissidents disclosed last week that the Turkish army has deployed anti-aircraft ‘Stinger’ missile system to the regions near al-Bab city Northeast of Aleppo province.
Ahmad al-Khatib, a journalist with close links to the Free Syrian Army terrorist group, disclosed on his twitter page that Turkey is equipping its affiliated forces stationed near the strategic city of al-Bab with Stinger missile system.
The Turkish media had also reported that a number of trucks carrying air defense systems were moving from Oguzeli region in Gaziantep towards the Syrian borders.
Tensions between Damascus and Ankara have gone so high that Syrian sources report army’s preemptive strike in the Northern parts of Syria to block the Turkish army’s attempts to establish a buffer zone in the region.
After liberation of 25 farms and villages from the terrorists’ control in Aleppo, the Syrian army forces continued to advance in the region to surround the strategic city of al-Bab from its Southern and Western sides.
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.