Turkish Air Force Cannot Provide Sufficient Air Support in Al-Bab – Reports

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Terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) group have recaptured Suflaniyah village due to the lack of activity of the Turkish Air Force.

Turkish Air Force Cannot Provide Sufficient Air Support in Al-Bab - Reports

Photo: TASS / DPA / Ingo Wagner

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.

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  • BMWA1

    ??? I thought Turkey had the largest military in NATO outside of the USR??? How is it possible that they can not support combat in ONE village less than 100 km from the Turkish border???

    • Horace

      Because overrated. It also shows that our criticism of the SAA was unfounded as so far the Turks have demonstrated that in combined arms operations they are not as effect as even the SAA. It also goes to show that the SAA as an army is far more capable than we give them credit for

    • VGA

      Erdogan got rid of tens of thousands of officers. The turkish army is crippled on all levels.

      • dutchnational

        The TuAF is in the worst state of all military branches as more or less half of their fighter pilots were fired and training new pilots will take up to 4 years and then you only have rookies. They also lost most of their higher echelons.

        But who cares? Allah will provide.

        In the end however, it remains a disgrace. Even with a largely reduced capacity, they should be able to bomb one small city, 30 kms from the border, into the ground.

  • Jesus

    The purging of the officer group might be a factor, however, it seems they are rather clumsy and unable to muster several squadrons of F16’s out of over 200 they have at their disposal.
    It is possible to have a lot of aircraft and have have reduced combat capability due to a number of reasons.

  • Pave Way IV

    Time for the Greeks to kick the Turk’s ass out of Cyprus once and for all – Turkey essentially has no air force. Hell, the Greeks should keep marching all the way to Constantinople (Istanbul). The only thing that would slow them down is the broken-down Leopards and other NATO junk along the way.

    The Turks seem to be able to roll armor against their own Kurdish citizens and level their cities. Hard to believe they are having so much trouble in al Bab. They must have kept the full-time armor guys in Turkey to kill Kurds and sent some part-timers to Syria. Maybe Syria and the Kurds should think about attacking Turkey while they have no effective military. Everyone would be happy to see Erdogan go, not least of all the Turks.

    • VGA

      Calm your tits. War is not some videogame.

      • Pave Way IV

        Thanks, Yoda.

    • Brasscase

      keep dreaming ;) TSK has 4 times more of your active soldiers and stronger navy by 92%, Has more money the Greece your maximum manpower is about 3 milion compared to turkeys 20 milion i dont think you stand much of a chance in a conventional war…. and you got your asses kicked before.

      • Pave Way IV

        I’m not Greek, nor am I for or against either Greece or Turkey. They are both run by their own versions of the mafia, just like the U.S. Turkey’s mob boss screwed up, the Greek mob could take advantage of that if they weren’t so clownishly incompetent and corrupt themselves. They are in a worse position than Turkey do anything to anybody. Besides, Turkey will be able to buy the rest of Cyprus when Greece has to auction it off on eBay.

        If Turkey had the will to defeat ISIS in al Bab, they could. Erdogan has no such intention – he sent Turkish troops and assorted head-choppers to prevent it from being taken by the Kurds – that’s it – not to kick ISIS out. Between gutting the military leadership and acting as a head-chopper supply depot, Erdogan has put Turkey in serious danger. Nobody is expecting anybody to attack Turkey. We’re all wondering when those 20,000 head-choppers will be fleeing from Syria back to Turkey and how long after that it will take for Turkey to tear itself apart from inside. I know Erdogan is extremely popular in Turkey, but he made a deal with the devil and the Turkish people will suffer because of that. The army and navy are useless against bored, homeless head-choppers.

        • Brasscase

          1st in syria there is only 1 Turkish regiment fighting second i didnt say anything about you being Greek third from what i experinced in turkey the more you hit the poplulation the stronger they will get thats there mentallity and forth im not a Turkish erDOGan supporter there are many people who are aware what erDOGan is doing right now
          fifth im a Turkish American… so dont worry im not biased to Turkeys side.

  • wwinsti

    @all, could it be an excuse, as in Erdogan doesn’t want to play anymore and is taking his ball home with him? Maybe he’s gotten orders not to interfere with the Kurds anymore now that US troops are present in greater numbers?

  • ‘Sup Bruh!

    Yet again, SouthFront, rather than paying attention to reliable sources, literally accepts PKK and ISIS propaganda as facts and writes a huge article by virtue of these propaganda lies.

    Fact is, Suflaniyah wasn’t recaptured by ISIS. FSA still has it. Just to disprove these propaganda lies, they publishes tons of new photos.

    Another thing is, Turkey is no Russia. Both in economics and cruelty. Jet fuel is not something cheap. It’s not about having bad air power. Turkey has something around 300 F-16 jets. They could flatten the Al-Bab but by giving away what? Huge economic loss? If SouthFront was following REAL Turksih news, they could easily see the economic decline in Turkey.

    Another thing is, they could flatten the Al-Bab by Firtina Howitzers as well. But Turkey is no Russia, civilian casulties are something they strongly try to avoid. Where as RuAf and SyAf massacred people of Aleppo.

    • PZIVJ1943

      Much of the news source is Izvestiya. Notice the quote “Turkey has high hopes for Russian Aerospace Forces”. There is some propaganda here for sure. In all fairness, there may be many reasons for decrease Turkish air activity: is weather bad; need to coordinate strikes now slows things down; new agreement on areas of air activity; etc.
      Erdogan sees that FSA ally is weak, he may have agreed to a compromise over Al Bab area.

      • ‘Sup Bruh!

        FSA is defintely weak. So many Turkish SOFs on twitter(on the Al-Bab front) mentioned that a bullet goes in air; suddenly FSA is on the run and its just us… No wonder they are losing on all fronts against both PKK and SAA.