BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:20 P.M.) – The Turkish military’s planned offensive in northern Syria has been obstructed by the massive attack waged by Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham in the Aleppo and Idlib provinces.
According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has been monitoring closely the ongoing battle between Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and the Turkish-backed National Liberation Front.
The source said that Damascus believes the new battle between the two rival rebel factions has impeded Ankara’s planned operation, as they scramble to retake the areas they lost to Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham.
Among the areas captured this week by Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham was the key town of Dart Izza, which is also a major stronghold for the Turkish-backed rebels in western Aleppo.
For the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), this latest round of rebel infighting is a blessing in disguise for them, as they can now finish off the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) forces in southeast Syria before regrouping north.
Once the eastern bank of the Euphrates River Valley is cleared, the Syrian Democratic Forces and their allies can redeploy to the northern provinces to deal with the future Turkish Army invasion.
In regards to the Syrian Arab Army, the rebel infighting only spells instability in the opposition-held areas.
The Syrian Army could use this as an opportunity to expand their territorial influence and retake several vital areas inside the Aleppo, Latakia, Idlib and Hama provinces.