Turkish forces and the “Euphrates Shield” control villages southwest of al-Bab city to stop the regime forces’ advancement in these areas
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that violent clashes are still taking place between the “Euphrates Shield ” forces and Turkish forces against the “Islamic State” organization in the southwestern area of al-Bab city, where the Turkish forces managed to advance and control the villages of al-Ghouz and Abu al-Zendin, after the withdrawal of organization from them due to heavy shelling and violent clashes, and with this control by the Turkish forces and the “Euphrates Shield ” they were able to advance to about 1.5 kilometers to the main road al-Bab – Aleppo, where any new advancement for these forces in the coming days will cut the road from a second area farther from al-Bab city in front of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them, who are about 7 km away southwest of al-Bab, after starting a military operation in the 17th of January 2017, and controlling 18 villages in the southwestern area of the city alone, and reaching al-Madyounah area and then stopping in this the area and launching a military operation in the southern area and controlling 4 villages, and then the controlled a village located about 8 kilometers to the south of Kweires airbase near Sabkhat al-Jabboul in the southeastern countryside of Aleppo.
And the Turkish forces after their first defeat at the western frontier of al-Bab city at the hands of the “Islamic State” organization on the 21st of December 2016, they have failed again in advancing towards northern, northeastern and eastern outskirts of al-Bab city, which is the largest remaining strongholds of the organization in the countryside of Aleppo, which Turkey got in late of 2016 the Russian green light, 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”
Reliable sources suggested to the Syrian Observatory that the Turkish forces after their inability and failure several times to reach the outskirts of al-Bab city from several areas, are trying to cut off the road in the face of the regime forces not to get to the city, in order to monopolize the process of controlling al-Bab city, despite regime’s simultaneous military operation in the southern area of al-Bab city, and reaching a distance of about 7 km from the city, and in conjunction with counterattacks by the organization to repel the advancement of regime in this area.
Controlling al-Bab city by the forces of “the Euphrates Shield” and Turkish forces will allow them to expand their controlled areas in the northern and northeastern countryside of Aleppo, northern and north east, the Turkish forces crossed the border in the 24th of August 2016 when the operation of “Euphrates Shield” was started, this operation consists of rebel and Islamic factions backed by the Turkish forces, they took control of Jarabulus city, and large areas of the northern and northeastern countryside of Aleppo, followed by the entry of a new batch of Turkish forces, vehicles, and tanks through areas controlled by the factions in the northern countryside of Aleppo, and the rebel and Islamic factions of the “Euphrates Shield” operation supported by Turkish tanks and warplanes were able to control the rest of the border between the western banks of the Euphrates River down to Azaz until they reached the edges of al-Bab city months ago.