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 Northeast of Aleppo province.
“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 (FSA) 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 on Saturday 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.
Reports said if the Euphrates Shield Operation forces reach the gates of al-Bab city, the ISIL terrorists will withdraw without any resistance which will pave the ground for the Turkey-backed groups. The ISIL has adopted the same strategy in a number of villages and towns in the Northern parts of Aleppo.
Meantime, possibility is high for direct clashes between the Syrian and Turkish armies as the Turkey-sponsored forces that are backed up by the Turkish army tanks stress that they are resolved to take al-Bab.
Last Saturday reports said that the Syrian army had inched closer to one of the most important strongholds of the ISIL in the Arab country, and were only three kilometers away from the Northern Syrian city of al-Bab in Aleppo province, while the Ankara-backed militants are also racing towards the city.
According to the Al-Mayadeen TV channel, the army troops managed to dislodge ISIL terrorists from six settlements near al-Bab, and are approaching the ISIL’s stronghold city.
The Free Syrian Army (FSA) supported by the Turkish Air Force and armored vehicles has also launched an offensive to push terrorists out of the vital Bastion of ISIL as capturing the city is of strategic importance to Ankara in order to prevent the Kurds’ reunification.
Military sources had disclosed in mid September that a large number of Syrian soldiers are deployed at Kuweires airbase to start military operations against the terrorists in al-Bab.
“Hundreds of Syrian soldiers are now in Kuweires airbase 40 kilometers to the east of Aleppo city to start al-Bab military operations against the ISIL terrorist group,” the Arabic-language media quoted an unnamed military source as saying.
Also, another source said in mid November that the Syrian army has sent around 1,000 reinforcement troops to the Eastern countryside of Aleppo to start the operation that aims to create a safe zone in areas in the vicinity of Kuweires airbase, including al-Bab, adding that the Syrian government troops’ military operation in al-Bab region is also meant to block further advances of the Turkey-backed terrorists in al-Bab region.
After recapturing Manbij from ISIL by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), al-Bab and Deir Hafer have turned into the largest bases of ISIL in Aleppo province.
Experts believe that Syrian army’s operations in al-Bab and Deir Hafer that are entrance gates to Raqqa province signify the government forces plan to start an attack on Raqqa soon, while the Kurdish forces have also started a large-scale offensive on Raqqa, codenamed ‘Wrath of Euphrates’, a couple of days ago.
Turkey declared on August 24 that its Army has launched ‘Euphrates Shield’ military operation in Syria, as Ankara claims that it has begun to cleanse the ISIL terrorists from its border with the Arab country.
But, despite Ankara’s allegation, Turkish military forces support militant groups in Northern Syria, and fight against Kurdish forces in the region.
Turkish officials have frequently stressed that operation ‘Euphrates Shield’ will continue to create a safe zone in Northern Syria.
Damascus had condemned Ankara’s military operation and entry of Turkish special forces and tanks into Syria, while Moscow expressed deep concern about what is happening in the Syrian-Turkish border area.
Al-Bab is one of ISIL’s last remaining strongholds near the Turkish border.