On Wednesday evening, a Turkish-backed rebel faction announced that the group had captured two pro-government soldiers at the village of Fikha Saghira in eastern Aleppo.
In an online statement, the ‘Sultan Mehmet al-Fateh Division’ claimed the captive loyalist troops were members of Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iraqi paramilitary faction.
However, no foreign fighters are present alongside the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in eastern Aleppo. According to a military source close to Al-Masdar, the newly captured soldiers are part of the Desert Hawks Brigade although the vast majority of SAA troops stationed in the area are members of the famed Tiger Forces.
The Turkish-led Euphrates Shield forces and SAA share a frontline of around 40 kilometers in the eastern Aleppo countryside. Skirmishes were reported across the entire spectrum although neither side gained any ground on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Army did capture at least two nearby villages from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) amid a Euphrates Shield offensive that ultimately looks to wrestle control of Manbij city despite protests from Washington.