Syrian War Report – December 22, 2016: Turkish Forces Storming Al-Bab, Suffer Heavy Casualties

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In the morning on December 21, intense clashes between ISIS and Turkey-led forces resumed in the area of al-Bab. Pro-Turkey militant groups and the Turkish army, supported by the Turkish Air Force, attacked the town hospital and seized the Aqeel Mountain area and set a control over the Aleppo-al-Bab road. 3 Turkish soldiers were killed and 11 more wounded these clashes, according to the Turkish military.

Seizure of the al-Bab hospital, located at the top of a strategic hill in western al-Bab, allowed Turkish forces to claim that they had a fire or a direct control of about 30% of the town. Furthermore available photos showed a high number of Turkish military personnel among militants involved in the operation.

Later that day, ISIS launched a counter-attack with usage of two suicide bombers, on the hospital and took this strategic site back from Turkish forces. The terrorist group claimed that the attack caused major casualties among its enemies: about 50 Turkish soldiers and militants were reported killed, 1 battle tank and 4 vehicles destroyed.

On December 22, clashes continued in western al-Bab with pro-Turkey forces attempting to advance against ISIS units.

On December 21, government forces attacked militant positions in the area of the Daraa provincial capital after the so-called “moderate opposition” shelled a number of residential areas of the city. As result of counter-battery fire and firefights some 10 militants were reported killed and at least 1 artillery piece destroyed. Pro-militant sources report that the “regime” suffered some losses, but don’t specify the number.

In northern Hama, militant groups intensified artillery shelling of government forces deployed near Souran and Maardas. Local sources say that this could be pre-emtive actions before an attack in the area. However, this is not likely because Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and its allies need some time to regroup after their defeat in Aleppo.

In the province of Homs, over 30 ISIS terrorists were killed as result of air raids by Russian attack helicopters and warplanes. The Russian Aerospace Forces supported government forces clashing with ISIS near the Tyas Airbase. No significant changes of the frontline have been observed.

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  • paul

    Turkish warplanes over Syrian territory – that seems wrong to me. Where
    are the antiaircraft missiles?

    • Ronald

      Completely agree , while its good to see ISIS and Turkish invaders go at each other , Turkish Air Force , should be given absolutely no Syrian “air space”.

      • Brad Isherwood

        Rumor is that Erdogan tossed pilots into prison after the coup.
        Turk Airforce and Army….not the machina it once was after the coup.
        Since Erdogan broke the peace deal with Oclan and PKK,
        There is now possibility a real civil resistance to Erdogan via Kurd could break out,
        With sectors of Turk society which are opposed to the new radical Islamist /
        Muslim Brotherhood of the Mad Caliph .
        If the PKK and other Kurd get a sense of how weakened Erdogans military is,
        It could arrange for Erdogan to have a mini Vietnam where his country
        Comes apart at the seams….with the Old guard politico realizing the former
        Turk govs were better than what the Mad Caliph offers.

        • Barry

          Not a rumor. I heard an intelligence report that there are now 2 jets for every pilot in the Turkish air force. It is wrecking them just like Stalin’s purges in 1930s decimated his army pre Nazi invasion.

          • Tom Tom

            Russians waiting for it….

          • Ilker Gurer

            it seems like you guys are unaware of the latest coup de ta from Mid July 2016, but before that Turkish military had been under asymmetric warfare from especially its western allies you know who probably, and they teamed up with an american puppet gullenist cult members who are in power as an so called moderate islamic organization, infiltrated into the police and military and every other state establishments include Judiciary etc. You all also should know Russia around 2006-07 if i m not wrong closed these Gulenist cults schools in federation of Russia and blamed them as cia puppets which is true till the end. Turkey since very long time have been not rule by patriots but puppets, so these gulenist mafia teamed as well with the Turkey s current government. so these asymmetrical warfare continued to weaken the Turkish military with fake cases these two parts shared their crime agains the nations of Turkey and its national statehood sent very great military personnel to long sentenced prisons and some have been cut of from the military so these gullenist soldiers run inside the military in higher positions and these traitors ruin the Turkish military for sure.. Current government Who are ruling the country are trying to change the secular system and collapse it if possible. but the life teaches them what is not possible anymore.. I wrote it long but these warfare tactics and they cut of very highly trained soldiers especially from the airforce and the navy, either to prisons or to cut off them from their duty not this year but during the fake cases that government did together with these Gulenist..

        • dutchnational

          PKK is trying to connect with dissatisfied turkish groups in the north east, close to the black sea. Alevis might also be a possibility for the PKK and or HDP.

          • Ilker Gurer

            Most of the Alevis never go with the hdp and pkk, are you crazy or what? What makes you think that way, very curious:)?? Alevis are very mostly like Republic lovers if you mentioned small numbers of Kurdish Alevis would support pkk some of of them could support. but overall not. and pkk and hdp are looking for dividing the country and making fedarative state models which is supported by the usa hegemony.

        • Rekli

          Erdogan s crimes together with Gulenist members together created such coup de ta or we could even say an “Invasion” there is no way anyone can call that coup, because during coup you won’t bomb your own parliament building, let s chose better words when we talk serious. So many gulenist cult members(include police+military+judiciary members and most of the state establishments) were active during that invasion in July 15th 2016. Erdogan is paying high price with his agreement with these Gulenist whom are infiltrated for 40 years to the state establishments.
          Please everyone should act like they know limited knowledge of what they think they know. we all know very limited as you talk about my own country, and I am sure It would be the same for me.
          Ocalan is supporting Erdogan on his presidency(which erdogan is trying to change the stytem on his behalf like one man rule forever pkk also supports that) so erdogan will eliminate the parliament system, well we will resist off course. pKK and ocarina and many other co called freedom fighters are dirty bloody puppets for the imperialistic hegamononies proxy armies. As Usa stated not very long ago that YPG (Syrian Pkk) is my army in Syria, they use them and world know that.Do they care for the very poor Kurdish civilians, doubt so as do they care any Turkish citizen since the man think for one man rule forever.

          Those pilots whom were actively bombed ppl and parliament and more are quilty and they are part of these Gulenist cult whom are heavy supported by many nato member countries and USA itself, before those pilots very high rank airforce and navy personnel were kicked out of the military and served many years in prison during the fake cases that Gulenist and current Turkish government run by erdogan made fake bias cases on these some highly trained and high class soldiers some of the best pilots have been cut off from the military lost their privileges because of these two criminals. and later those high class military tossed into prison or pushed to leave the military gullets thugs came into higher places in military and police forces ,judiciary etc. so even I dislike erdogan very much even now, he had to put those gullets cult pilots to the prison.

    • Hisham Saber

      I was thinking the same thing. Turkey, Israel and the U.S. coalition aircraft are violating international law and norms in Syria. We have global anarchy now.

      • Blue Centurion

        So is Assad with his Sarin gas on civilians.

        • Jim Mooney

          Gas was actually used by the “rebels” (Al Nusra “moderates”)

          • Blue Centurion

            Yeah sure. They have fighter aircraft for delivery too. And the UN was wrong as was every other NGO providing medical assistance.

          • santiago

            You watch to much TV, turn it off, maybe one day you will be able to notice BS being fed to you, and reject it instead of eating it.

          • Tom Tom

            Blue C, so naive. White Helmets calling (were, not now) artillery for al Nusra in Aleppo.

          • The Bandalar

            So let me get this straight – you are claiming that: Assad has decided to use a completely ineffective and antiquated weapon (mustard gas) in small quantities. Also he did so knowing that it would provoke a massive international backlash and harm his regime, all because he badly wanted to harm a few dozen random civilians.

            If you believe that, then you have bought into the American bipartisan consensus of accepting all anti-Assad propaganda, no matter how discredited, and to ignore all evidence suggesting that it was rebels who made limited use of the gas.

            I can’t blame you, I myself was brainwashed only a couple years ago until a friend challenged me to prove that Russia had invaded Georgia on August 7th as I had claimed. It did not take long for me to find conclusive proof that the media had it all backwards, as history now attests. From that day onwards I have carefully researched every Russian/Western clash, such as the Ukraining conflict, only to discover that the Americans have reliably been the ones causing trouble. I’m still very pro-American in general, but I no longer jump to conclusions.

            Basically you need to recognize that the Soviet Union does not exist anymore. Russia is no longer an evil empire. The knee-jerk assumption that Russia must be the bad guy in every conflict is not valid, and amounts to intellectual laziness.

          • dutchnational

            While you are basically correct, it would be both ignorance of the past and ignorance of geopolitical realities to believe that Russia ever was, or now is, a friendly neighbourly neighbouring country.

            Russia is an empire, has an imperial past, has many people longing for past glories, has a geopolitical ambition to dominate, control center east Europe and has, fi, striven for some 4 centuries to wipe Poland from the map, which they ultimately did twice in late 18th century and mid 20th century.

            So let us keep reality in mind.

          • Tom Tom

            Yep.

        • gustavo

          Do not believe on CNN, CBS, FOX, BBC propaganda, please. Even USA Real News Network can tell you more realistic picture about what is happening. Do not be scare if you realized (after knowing something) that USA-NATO-Israel are evils organizations.

        • Bob

          That has been debunked – the Sarin gas attack in East Ghouta was by Al Nusra militants, probably with Turkish intelligence assistance to trigger a NATO intervention. Months afterwards, the Turkish police caught militants in a southern Turkey base camp red handed with Sarin gas canisters (from EU). The story got next to no coverage in west. The Turkish police were subsequently kicked off the case and forbidden to enter the militant base camps again – the case and all jurisdiction over militant base camps was handed to state security and thereafter it all quietly went away.

    • Tom Tom

      sitting quietly whilst Russians wait for it….

  • Charlie7777

    soon may this carnage end and humanity claim victory over the Evil zionists and their proxies…