Pro-Turkish Militants Going to Open New Front in Aleppo

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The Free Syrian Army, backed up by the Turkish Special Forces, is going to take  al-Bab city and then move to the north-east part of Aleppo province.

Pro-Turkish Militants Going to Open New Front in Aleppo

Photo: TASS / Zuma / Eduardo Martins

The opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA), backed up by Turkish troops, is going to dislodge terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) group from al-Bab city, located 40 km north-east of Aleppo, in the coming days, the Izvestiya newspaper reported. In case of success, it will come to positions of Syrian government troops. Damascus believes that in this way the ‘moderate’ opposition tries to distract attention from large-scale military actions, which are conducted by Russia and Syria in Aleppo and neighboring provinces, and expresses readiness to meet the opposition forces with weapons in hands.

The advance of FSA militants, supported by Turkish troops, towards Aleppo and their gradual approach to the areas, controlled by the Syrian government forces, was not a surprise for the Syrian government. According to a deputy of the Syrian Parliament, Ashvak Abbas, Damascus has no doubts about ability of the country’s armed forces to repel a possible enemy attacks in the north-east of Aleppo province. He noted that clashes between opposition armed groups and government forces can be expected in the area, but it is unlikely that militants will manage to achieve any results.

“Cooperation between the Russian and Syrian armed forces in the fight against terrorism is at a very high level. Events in the area of al-Bab should be considered, primarily, as an attempt to divert attention from the operation to liberate Aleppo and following actions on destruction of armed groups in the provinces of Homs and Idlib,” Abbas told Izvestiya.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also noted that the Free Syrian Army, supported by the Turkish Special Forces, is currently stationed about 2 kilometers from al-Bab city. He added that resistance is expected, but “it is unlikely that it will last long.”

If the city of al-Bab is taken, in the near future, the forces of the so-called ‘moderate’ opposition will come to the area, controlled by the Syrian government forces, which are involved in the besiegement of Aleppo. So, in this case, we can talk about opening of the second front.

So far, Syrian troops in Aleppo district were attacked from the south and south-west – groups of the ‘moderate’ opposition came from the provinces of Idlib and Homs. Now, apparently, the government forces will also have to repel attacks from the north-east.

‘Oppositionists’, advancing on al-Bab, do not hide their goals. So, the Reuters news agency quoted the words of one of the FSA battlefield commanders, who confirmed that units of militants are going to move in the direction of Aleppo.

“After the capture of al-Bab, we will be on the edge of the industrial area [of Aleppo] and in the area of the Kuweires airbase, so we [will have] a direct contact with the regime troops,” the source of the news agency said.

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