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Turkish Army Digs Trench Separating Areas of Control East of Aleppo

Local sources told Syria TV that the goal of digging the trench is to reduce smuggling to and from the "liberated" areas of northern Syria.
Turkish army aleppo
Turkish Army Digs Trench Separating Areas of Control East of Aleppo

The Turkish army and the Syrian National Army (SNA) corps have begun digging a trench separating areas of control in the eastern Aleppo countryside. It is similar to the trench that Turkish forces are digging near the line of contact between the SDF and the areas of Operation Spring of Peace in northeastern Syria. 

The step outraged some displaced civilians from nearby towns in the city of al-Bab, east of Aleppo. One of these towns is Tadef, whose people demonstrated against the step because their town would be south of the trench, killing any hope of launching offensive military operations against the Syrian regime forces by retaking the town, as well as recapturing the cities and towns it controls alongside the SDF. They considered that the whole matter was also a “dedication to the division of control areas.” 

Along the international road 

The Syrian National Army corps has begun drilling in the trench in coordination with Turkish forces and is scheduled to extend from the town of Tadef near al-Bab, along the Aleppo-Hassakeh International Road (M4) to the town of Sukkariah, near the SDF’s line of contact. 

Local sources told Syria TV that the stated goal of digging the trench is to reduce smuggling to and from the “liberated” areas of northern Syria, and to prevent the entry of car bombs coming from SDF-controlled areas towards the National Army’s controlled areas. 

Read Also: SDF and Turkish Regime Seek to Overturn Understandings with Russia in Hassakeh

The sources added that the excavation tasks were divided into the three corps in the national army, each according to the areas of its deployment. This coincided with the objection of some displaced people residing in al-Bab, especially the residents of the town of Tadef, who came out with demonstrations refusing to “divide their town”, half of which is under the control of the Syrian regime and the other half is controlled by the national army. 

The target of the trench 

The SNA has begun digging the trench for several purposes, including reducing hostile security and military incursions, according to the chief of staff of the Revolutionaries for Liberation in the National Army, al-Mu’tassim Abbas.   

Abbas said in a statement to Syria TV that the first goal is to prevent infiltrations carried out by the enemy represented by the forces of the Assad regime and SDF. The second goal is to reduce smuggling operations or the entry of car bombs through smuggling corridors. 

“The third goal is to prevent smuggling by weak-minded people, especially the smuggling of narcotics,” he said. He added that a line of defense is being built on the front lines, noting that fences and trenches are present on most fronts of Aleppo countryside. The trench is currently being dug in weak sites in terms of fortification, especially in eastern Aleppo. 

Minister of Defense: Trench within infrastructure 

Syrian Interim Government Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hassan al-Hamada said the trench and the earthen berm being built in Sukkariah, al-Bab area, are part of the engineering equipment the national army is working on, on various fronts.   

“Trenches are one of the most important military equipment that gives forces the competence to counter any attempts at infiltration of the enemy, and the trench in (Sukkariah) will only be in a specific area to protect them and will not extend to other areas where the nature of the fighting does not require the presence of trenches,” the brigadier general said in a special statement to Syria TV.


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.

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