In the last few hours, Turkey has informed the Syrian National Army factions that it has postponed the planned military operation in northern Syria, following a meeting held in the Hawar Kilis area, located on the Syrian-Turkish border.
“The Turkish army has informed the National Army’s leaders that it will postpone the military operation to an unspecified date, during a meeting in the Hawar Kilis area,” Al-Araby al-Jadeed reported, quoting an exclusive military source from inside the National Army.
According to the source, the decision to postpone the operation came suddenly after determining the operation’s timeline and stages during a meeting that took place the day before the postponement. The operation is supposed to go from the Euphrates Shield area, in the northern countryside of Aleppo to the east of the Euphrates.
The military source indicated that after taking control of the city of Ain al-Arab (Kobani) east of Aleppo, the operation against the Assad regime was scheduled to take place in the western countryside of Aleppo. Specifically, the operation was meant to target the areas of Qubtan al-Jabal, Ainjara, and the 46th Regiment, where Iranian militias are stationed alongside regime militias.
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The source suggested that the guarantors of the Idleb region had prompted Ankara to postpone its declared military operation in northern Syria.
On May 23rd, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his country would begin taking the remaining steps towards establishing a safe zone of 30 kilometres along the border with Syria. This would impose a military bastion against “terrorist militias,” Erdogan said.
“We will run our affairs from now on. We will carry out our military operations against terrorist organizations. We will not give up our sovereignty. And we will do whatever is necessary to protect our security,” Erdogan said at a press conference held after the cabinet meeting.
Erdogan stressed that preparations for the military operation had been completed and that the National Security Council would take the final decision at its meeting, held last weekend.
Sources said that the Turkish operation is targeting the areas of Tel Rifaat, Manbij, and Ain al-Arab. The operation aims to link the Jarabulus area to Manbij in the eastern Aleppo countryside, and the area of Afrin with Tal Rifaat in the northern Aleppo countryside. The operation would also link the areas of Operation Euphrates Shield (Jarabulus) to the areas of Operation Peace Spring (Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain) through control of Ain al-Arab and Ain Issa. In these ways, the areas covered by the military operations would be connected to Idleb.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.