Syrian rebel groups within the Euphrates Shield operations room on Wednesday took control of two villages east of the city of al-Bab in the Aleppo countryside after heavy clashes with Syrian Democratic Forces fighters, led by the People’s Protection Units (PYD).
The Hawar Kilis operations room, which is operating in the northern and eastern Aleppo countryside under the authority of the Syrian opposition, said today that “Free Syrian Army groups took control of the villages of Tel Tourin and Qarah east of the city of al-Bab, managing to expel Syrian Democratic Forces fighters.”
The spokesman for the Manbij military council Sharfan Darwish said that the FSA, aided by Turkish forces, attacked villages 27 kilometers west of the city, noting that the attack focused on the villages controlled by the Manbij council under the banner of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
The opposition’s advance came hours after the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement that his country wants to work with allies to regain the city of Raqqa without the participation of Syrian Kurdish forces, indicating that the FSA would move toward Manbij after completing operations in al-Bab.
Earlier, in the first advance after taking control of the city of al-Bab, FSA forces took control of the town of Jablat al-Hamra and the villages of al-Karidiyeh and Umm Humaira east of al-Bab after fighting with the Islamic State.
Regime forces in the last few days have taken control of villages south of al-Bab to cut off the road ahead of the FSA and Turkey, whereby the regime has achieved a geographic connection with the Syrian Democratic Forces in the area of Manbij and al-Bab and prevented contact between the opposition and ISIS in Raqqa.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.