“We will see the start of military operations towards Northern and Northeastern Aleppo province near al-Bab city in order to block the Turkish army and the Turkish-backed militants’ approach to the strategic city,” Retired Syrian Army General Heisam Hassoun told FNA on Tuesday.
He pointed to the Turkish army’s military operations in Northern, Northwestern and Northeastern parts of Syria, and said, “The Syrian army has dispatched forces towards al-Bab city since the liberation of the Eastern parts of Aleppo city three months ago, but it postponed further advances to help other army units fortify their military positions in the Southern and Southeastern parts of al-Bab and Daber cities.”
He said that the Syrian army and the Kurdish and Arab popular defense forces have been working to work out an alliance in Northern Syria since late September, adding, “These forces have initiated action since Monday to push back the Turkish army in the North.”
In mid-October, a prominent Syrian analyst said the army and its allies will move to free the strategic city of al-Bab after wining full control over Aleppo city.
“End of the Aleppo battle will focus efforts on al-Bab which is the most important and last ISIL base in Northern Aleppo province, a city that despite tough clashes between the warring sides, neither the Kurds nor the Turkish forces and their allies from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) will dare to enter, given the warnings Russia and Iran have given to the Turkish officials,” Kamal Fayyadh told FNA.
He underlined the high importance of the battle in al-Bab, and said liberation of the city would prevent Erdogan’s control over regions between al-Rai and al-Bab and strengthen the Syrian army’s control over its Northern borders.
“The future confrontation with the ISIL in Raqqa and Deir Ezzur as well as liberation of al-Bab means seizing back more Syrian and Iraqi territories from the ISIL hand,” Fayyadh said.
Military sources announced late last month that the Syrian Army had deployed a large number of soldiers in Kuweires airbase in Eastern Aleppo to launch large-scale offensives in ISIL-held regions Northeast of the province, specially al-Bab.
“Thousands of Syrian army soldiers, previously deployed in Southern Aleppo and Northern Hama, poured into the Eastern countryside of Aleppo on Sunday and Monday, as the Syrian Army prepares for a large-scale military operation near the ISIL stronghold in al-Bab,” the sources said.