Syrian Democratic Forces Set Up Al-Bab Military Council, Prepare for Fresh Advances

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Syrian Democratic Forces Set Up Al-Bab Military Council, Prepare for Fresh Advances

On August 14, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced creation of the Al-Bab Military Council. This could indicate that developing the success in Manbij, the Kurds are going to advance on Al Bab in order to link the four cantons of Rojava along the Syrian-Turkish border.

Pro-Kurdish sources say that the main goal of the council is to liberate Al-Bab and surrounding villages from ISIS and the council includes 7 “Arab” armed gorups:

Syrian Democratic Forces Set Up Al-Bab Military Council, Prepare for Fresh Advances

Al-Bab has a population about 69,000. Its inhabitants are mostly Sunni Muslim Arabs. Even with the significant superiority in manpower, military equipment and air power, and with support of the US Special Forces, the Kurdish-led SDF will face a stiff resistance there.

ISIS militants could easily launch flank attacks on SDF units advancing on Al-Bab. Furthermore, the liberation of Al Bab is far away from the political goals of Obama administration in Syria. The White House is seeking to show the success of American anti-terrorist operations by taking major ISIS strongholds – Raqqa and Mosul – in Syria and Iraq. Al Bab is just located in another direction.

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  • Alex M

    I said Al-Bab makes the most sense as the next target. Yes, there’ll be stiff resistance (as there was with Manbij) but it’s more than worth it. With Manbij and Al-Bab under SDF/YPG control they’ll be within spitting distance of uniting the Afrin and Kobani cantons, and cutting off ISIS’ supply lines going into Turkey. That single act of cutting off their supply lines will ensure that ISIS won’t be able to smuggle terrorists into Europe, foreign fighters into Syria & Iraq, resupply themselves with arms and ammunition etc. Then, the battle for Raqqa should take place as ISIS will be mortally wounded.