BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:00 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has recently beefed up their numbers in the northern countryside of Aleppo, following the latest advances by the Turkish-backed rebels in Afrin.
According to a military source in northern Syria, the Syrian Army and their allies from the pro-government National Defense Forces (NDF) have sent a large number of personnel to the front-lines in northern Aleppo.
The reason for these reinforcements is to protect the government strongholds of Al-Zahra’a and Nubl, which were once besieged by the Islamist rebels for years.
While Turkey maintains they are only targeting ‘terrorists,’ many of the rebel fighters being used in Operation Olive Branch were once fighting the Syrian Arab Army in northern Syria.
Militants from Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki and Faylaq Al-Sham were engaged in fierce combat against the Syrian Army for years in Aleppo; this has raised the government’s concerns that these Islamist rebels may target their areas.