Terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) group have recaptured Suflaniyah village due to the lack of activity of the Turkish Air Force.
The Turkish Air Force is not able to provide sufficient support for the ground forces, storming the city of al-Bab, located in northern Syria, – due to the lack of activity of Turkish fighter jets, terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) group managed to drive out Turkish troops and their Syrian allies from the strategically important village of Suflaniyah, without giving them a chance to consolidate the defense in the eastern outskirts of the city, the Izvestiya newspaper reported.
Suflaniyah village has already several times passed from hand to hand. This time, at least five Turkish servicemen were killed and about nine others were wounded, as well as at least two Leopard tanks were destroyed.
As the newspaper noted, the lack of the air support became one of the reasons of the new Turkey’s failures near al-Bab. Official reports on the number of airstrikes do not impress. On Monday, representatives of the Turkish General Staff announced that the air power destroyed 14 IS facilities during the day. On Sunday, there was no data on successful airstrikes, and on Saturday, Ankara reported about 21 bombed facilities of terrorists.
According to Izvestiya, the reason of such ineffective actions of the air power lies in the shake-up, conducted in the Turkish Air Force after the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, in which officers of the country’s Air Force were among the most active participants.
The situation could be saved by the US. However, disagreements on the Kurdish issue do not allow Washington and Ankara to agree on the support. The US tried to dissuade Turkey from the offensive on al-Bab, as it involves a serious conflict with Kurds.
The newspaper noted that for this reason, now, Turkey has high hopes for the Russian Aerospace Forces, which have already demonstrated its ability to conduct intensive air campaigns. According to reports of social networks’ activists, Russian fighter jets are currently carrying out airstrikes to the south of al-Bab, on the rear area of terrorists, in order to prevent sending of reinforcements to the city.
According to a senior researcher of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Konstantin Truevtsev, “it is possible that the Turkish forces will take al-Bab together with units of the Syrian Army and with an active support of the Russian air power.” The Syrian Army has already started its offensive on the east of Aleppo.
Truevtsev noted that the geography of the airstrikes indicates the direction of the Syrian Army’s further offensive. “It is possible that al-Bab will be liberated jointly, with an active support of the Russian air power,” he said. The researcher also pointed out that an experiment on joint carrying out of airstrikes was held last week, and this experience confirmed the possibility of an effective cooperation.