DAMASCUS, SYRIA (2:10 A.M.) – The race for Al-Bab is now in full-swing, as the Turkish-backed rebel forces advance within 2km of this Islamic State stronghold in east Aleppo.
Recently, the Turkish-backed rebels managed to capture several villages stretching across an 8km radius north Al-Bab; this prompted the Islamic State terrorists to launch a decisive counter-assault on Wednesday to recapture the territory they lost this past week.
While the Islamic State and Turkish-backed rebels duke it out in the north, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has beefed up their forces at the nearby Kuweires Military Airport, swelling their manpower to over 5,500 soldiers in eastern Aleppo.
It is not quite clear why the Syrian Arab Army has chosen to build-up their forces at the Kuweires Military Airport because they have made no attempt to liberate Al-Bab yet.
West of Al-Bab, the Kurdish-led “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) have maintained a strong presence in this area, leaving many to believe they will not sit idly after the Turkish-backed rebels capture Al-Bab.
Turkey has recently expressed interest in taking control of Menbeij near the Al-Raqqa border; however, their own rebels seem poised to lift the Syrian Army siege on the jihadist-controlled east Aleppo districts.