المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

The conflict on al-Bab and the Turkish failure to storm it pushes the regime forces under a Russian cover to march towards the city and move closer towards its southwestern areas

The Operation of “Euphrates Shield” which is led by the Turkish forces in participation by the rebel and Islamic factions and operating in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, and one month after their first defeat at the western frontier of al-Bab city  at the hands of the “Islamic State” organization, they could not achieve any advancement to the inside of the city, despite their repeated attempts under a cover of Turkish intensive air and artillery shelling, which left 180 civilian casualties including 36 children under the age of eighteen and 17 citizen woman, they were killed in shelling by Turkish forces and Turkish warplanes on areas in al-Bab city and its vicinity and countryside, including 50 casualties including 8 children and a citizen woman were killed in the rocket, artillery and air strikes on areas in Tedef and Bzaah and other areas in the countryside of the al-Bab, in addition to injuring tens of other people, some are in dangerous situations.

This failure to storm into the city from the western area of al-Bab city by the Turkish forces and factions of the “Euphrates Shield” pushed them to open a new area from the northeastern for al-Bab city, these forces have lost about 25 members of its forces and wounded several others  in the attack operations in the western area and the northeastern area, which coincided with detonating a booby trapped vehicles by members of the organization, also the repeated attempts of advancement came after the Russian green light obtained by Turkey, which allows it to advance towards al-Bab city and control it, and expelling the “Islamic State” organization from it, in the wake of the displacement of about 27 thousand persons, including more than 7 thousand fighter from the factions’ controlled square in the southwestern section of Aleppo city towards its western countryside, and because this advancement and controlling a big strategic city will allow them to prevent connecting of the democratic self-management areas together in the three provinces: “Al-Jazeerah – Kobani – Afrin”

This clash and these repeated battles in the bow which extends between the western and eastern areas of al-Bab city through the northern side of the city, and the Turkish failure despite the intensity of the aerial and artillery bombardment that left a great destruction in the property of citizens and public utilities at al-Bab city and towns and villages in its countryside, which coincided with the opened front between the forces of Manbij Military Council supported by the Syria Democratic Forces against the Turkish forces and the “Euphrates Shield ” in the western countryside of Manbij, and despite the Russian green light, all of what is already mentioned has ignited the desire of the regime forces and the Russians to advance in the area of which the “Euphrates Shield” did not head towards it permanently, which is the southern area of ​​the city, so Bashar al-Assad’s regime warplanes and helicopters and the Russian warplanes carried out airstrikes most of them targeted the eastern countryside of Aleppo and the southern countryside of al-Bab city, in conjunction with the Turkish shelling which continued to target al-Bab city and its countryside, the bombing by the regime and Russia came as a preparation for the military operation which was launched on the 17th of January 2017, the regime forces led by al-Nemr (Tiger) groups led by the Brigadier Suhail Hassan, who was promoted to this grade and appointed as the head of the branch of air Force intelligence in the northern Syrian area, also this operation came after the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them led by regime forces’ Brigadier Sohail al-Hassan, known also “al-Nemr” (the Tiger) were able to advance in the eastern countryside of Aleppo and regain control of the strategic Power Plant, which used to be a stronghold for the “Islamic State” organization in mid-February 2016.

The past hours brought the regime forces and the gunmen loyal to them less than 15 kilometers away from the southwestern area of al-Bab city, after being able to control Soran village, and despite the fact that less than 10 kilometers separates the regime forces from al-Bab city in the southern countryside, However, the regime forces and through advancing in ​​this area supported by the gunmen loyal to them, are trying to take over areas controlled by the organization and set it away even more from Aleppo city and its outskirts, and to expand their control over the area, as well as to scatter the “Islamic State” organization, which is in Aleppo only fighting on 3 fronts, one of them is against Manbij Military Council, the other one is against the Turkish forces and “Euphrates Shield” and the third one is against the regime forces, as well as the already opened fronts against Syria Democratic Forces in a the northern and western countryside of Al-Raqqah, and against the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them in the eastern countryside of Homs, the process of advancement by the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them in the southeastern countryside is being carried out under a cover of airstrikes by regime’s warplanes and others believed to be Russian warplanes, in addition to the continuous violent shelling on areas controlled by the “Islamic State” organization, also the military operations have left killed and injured tens of members of both parties.

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