Syria’s ongoing military gains in Aleppo Province are coming up against the Turkish invasion in the same area, with Syrian forces having captured substantial territory south of al-Bab from ISIS, following the city itself having fallen to Turkish troops.
Primarily, the offensive seems to be focused on securing the water supply route for the major city of Aleppo. Control over nationwide water supplies has proven increasingly important to the Syrian military, after Damascus saw water shutoffs during fighting with rebels.
At the same time, the Syrian forces are approaching Manbij, from which ISIS was already expelled by Kurdish forces. The Syrian military has largely not clashed with the Kurdish YPG during the civil war, with some rare exceptions, and the link-up could complicate Turkey’s planned offensive against Manibj, and it’s advance on to Raqqa Province.
ISIS is effectively expelled from Aleppo at this point, though they have engaged in some minor offensives against the southernmost portion of the province to try to claw their way back into the area. This leaves open the question of where the Turkish military, and its rebel allies, will shift their focus, and Russia is still trying to keep the two sides from fighting one another.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
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