Reuters: Syrian Army Aims To Reach Al-Bab, Ready To Clash With Pro-Turkish Forces

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Reuters: Syrian Army Aims To Reach Al-Bab, Ready To Clash With Pro-Turkish Forces

Syrian troops hold positions in the town of Ain al-Hanash near al-Bab in Aleppo’s eastern countryside on January 26, 2016. (© AFP)

On February 1, Reuters found itself, dramatically speculating over a possible clash between the Syria army and pro-Turkish forces in northern Syria:

A rapid advance by the Syrian army towards the Islamic State-held city of al-Bab risks sparking a confrontation with Turkey as Damascus seeks to stop its neighbor penetrating deeper into a strategically important area of northern Syria.

Northern Syria is one of the most complicated battlefields of the multi-sided Syrian war, with Islamic State now being fought there by the Syrian army, Turkey and its rebel allies, and an alliance of U.S.-backed Syrian militias.

In less than two weeks, Syrian army units have moved to within 6 km (4 miles) of al-Bab, a city that is also being targeted in a campaign waged by the Turkish military and its allies, groups fighting under the Free Syrian Army banner.

A source in the military alliance fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad told Reuters on Wednesday the Syrian army aimed to reach al-Bab and was ready “to clash with the FSA fighting” alongside the Turkish army if necessary.

It seems Reuters’ editorial board failed to follow the recent developments over the Syrian crisis and now is urgently attempting to realize what is going on over Al-Bab.

Fortunately, the answer is here:

Dear Reuters, probably, you read some news about the so-called “Astana talks” which involved representatives of the Syrian government, the “Syrian opposition, Turkey, Iran and Russia. This was a clear indication of the Syrian-Turkish-Russian-Iranian cooperation over the conflict and a confirmation of unofficial agreements made by these sides.

Joint airstrikes by Russian and Turkish warplanes and the synchronized advances by pro-government and pro-Turkish forces in the area are a part of these agreements. The sides can have disagreements over the solution of the conflict, but they clearly agreed to fight ISIS in northern Syria and are not going to fight each other there.

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  • Yahu Savant

    Drive the invaders out. Then go to Sweden and drive the invaders out of there too (the Swedes are too stupid and weak to do it themselves!

    • Jens Holm

      Go home then…

  • Trustin Judeau

    There wont be clashes with Turkish armed forces.But I am not sure about the so called rebels in ES.I dont know how much Turkey controls them.

    • Barba_Papa

      True, but those mercenaries seem to run faster then an Italian army at the first sight of trouble. Which is why we have been graced with so many pictures of destroyed Leopard 2 tanks.

  • Someone should remind the Gobble-gobbles,,,, Syria is not Turkeyland?

  • Jens Holm

    Well, kilometers are written about it, so one “Reuter” dont make me as calm as You.

    Assads has as many others in Syria demanded Turks home and with no safezone.

    So Al Bab is to me more like – whats next.

    Astana wasnt a succes either. More like ceasefire, when Assads and russians has lack of bombs.

    Assad hadnt even power to have SDF/Kurds in Astana.

  • gustavo

    This is very interesting, will Russia help Syria in this case bombing Turky (member of OTAN) ? Let us see how honest is Russia with Syria.

    • Bob

      Russia is an old power with statecraft traditions – they are managing multiple scenarios in a messy reality. It was Russia that allowed Turkish forces to enter north Syria – but only after making it clear they would bomb any unsanctioned Turkish/ FSA moves. Turkish operations in north Syria meant all of the Turkish backed FSA militants left east Aleppo for the northern border, Turkish/ FSA, anti ISIS Jarabalus operation. That made east Aleppo easier for SAA to storm and greatly dented the morale of remaining al-sham/zenki/nusra militants there who felt abandoned by key patron Turkey.
      Long before current war, Turkey had agreement with Hafiz al Assad to enter Syrian territory up to 35 kilometres deep to attack Kurds when Turkish military deemed it necessary, particularly in 1980’s. Syria accepted this back then as they couldn’t control all the Kurdish factions and Turkey is far larger state that threatened invasion at that time to achieve its anti-Kurdish operations.
      These are the realities Russia is working with. Russia doesn’t need to bomb Turkish forces – they have the strategic initiative already – by engaging with Turkey directly, Russia has sidelined the US completely. To suggest Russia is not honest with Syria, when Russia saved the Syrian state in 2015-6 from the likely collapse of Latakia is ridiculous, Russia is simply managing multiple military and diplomatic realities, using both the carrot and the whip.