Turks and Syrians advance on Al-Bab but first blood is drawn between them



… from  Southfront

Has IS used up their anti-tank missiles, or saving them for the last battle?

[ Editor’s Note: The Jihadis cleared out of Qabasin and Bzaah to tighten their lines around al-Bab. This makes them more compact as bombing targets, but then there are always those human shields to use inside the city, a routine tactic for them.

The Syrians have crossed over the eastern supply road to move toward closing the pocket, theoretically to induce the defenders to give up. Good luck with that.

The Syrians also had a good day moving up on the southern flank, bringing their artillery in range. But when moving onto the SW 212 road, it seems the Turkish militias did not want to share. People died, and the Turkish artillery joined in; the Syrians lost an APC… not good.

The Turks and their militias are hell bent on taking the city after the drubbing they have taken. They were fine with the Syrians helping out from the South to weaken the jihadi defenses on their own front, but this could turn into two battles going on really quickly if the Russians are not able to keep the peace.

The Turkish military has been humiliated in not being able to take this city in a couple of weeks, so they want their victory day, with guests only, not to share it. Tomorrow the infighting will either settle down or get worse, and lives will be wasted while generals and politicians fight from secure areasJim W. Dean ]


Wide open fields of fire here until you reach the town on the horizon

– First published  …  February 09,  2017

Considering no intense clashes had been reported in Qabasin and Bzaah recently, ISIS militants likely just withdrew from these areas.

If confirmed, it will be an important step allowing Turkish forces to deploy more forces direclty to the storm of al-Bab.

Meanwhile, the Syrian army’s Tiger Forces have reportedly liberated the village of Abu Taltal. This move puts government troops in a striking distance from Tadef, an important ISIS defense site which secures the southern flank of al-Bab.


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