DAMASCUS, SYRIA (9:20 P.M.) – The race to the key town of Al-Bab has begun, as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Turkish-backed rebels, and Kurdish-led “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) all vie for control of the Islamic State stronghold in east Aleppo.
With their primary focus being Al-Bab, the Turkish-backed “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) and their Islamist allies are steadily advancing south towards the northern perimeter of the town, leaving less than 10km between them the terrorist stronghold.
Pushing from the west is the Syrian Democratic Forces, who have been quietly advancing towards Al-Bab for several weeks now, despite receiving a number of threats from the Turkish regime over their desire to link the Rojava pockets in northern Syria.
Finally, there is the Russian-backed Syrian Arab Army, who has mobilized thousands of soldiers at the nearby Kuweries Military AIrport for what looks like an upcoming east Aleppo offensive against the Islamic State.
In the coming weeks, the race for Al-Bab will likely intensify as all parties involved look to expel the Islamic State and build a foothold in east Aleppo.