The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is on the verge of direct military conflict with the Turkish Armed Forces in Aleppo province after Syrian government troops seized a village from Turkish supported rebel forces on Monday evening.
Pushing eastwards from a batch of recently captured villages on the outskirts of Aleppo city, the SAA’s Republican Guard and the newly formed ‘Syrian National Resistance’ (SNR) were able to wrestle control of Azraq village, thus advancing the SAA’s forward units to positions just five kilometers from al-Bab city.
The SNR is formed out of the ‘Kafr Saghir Martyrs Brigade’, a predominately Kurdish pro-government unit which spearheaded the capture of Aleppo Infantry School exactly one month ago. Notably, the SNR is a key player in improving regional relations between the SAA and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
In fact, the SDF provided fire support for the SAA’s capture of Azraq.
Meanwhile, Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions seized yet another village from ISIS on the eastern outskirts of al-Bab; namely Zurzur. The FSA and SDF are also clashing with each other nearby although neither side could yield any sustainable gains.
With the SAA and FSA gradually advancing towards al-Bab, ISIS fighters are bracing themselves for the coming assault. Turkish tanks have shelled the city heavily over the past few weeks.