Beirut – As the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) including mainly Kurdish forces have approached on Sunday from the Euphrates Dam in northern Syria, Turkey sent more reinforcements on its border with the neighboring country.
The SDF backed by U.S. Special Forces and the coalition warplanes have achieved a new advancement towards the Euphrates Dam and the nearby city of al-Tabaqa in the Raqqa province, the stronghold of ISIS. “The SDF are now about 5km away from the Euphrates Dam located on the Euphrates at al-Tabaqa city,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
Meanwhile, Turkey sent on Sunday new military reinforcements to its military forces and allied rebel groups in northern Syria. Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported on Sunday that the reinforcement included at least “10 tanks and 8 armored vehicles.”
The new reinforcement comes at a time when the Turkish forces are tightening their grip on the city of al-Bab, the ISIS stronghold in northern Syria. It also comes following the announcement of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said that Turkish forces would later move east towards the city of Manbij, where the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) are located.
The Turkish Army issued a statement on Sunday saying the new military reinforcements aims at intensifying counter-terrorism efforts on the Syrian-Turkish border.
The statement added that clashes between Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces and ISIS fighters were ongoing in the surroundings of al-Bab city. Three ISIS militants and two FSA members were killed during the clashes.
The Observatory said the Turkish warplanes shelling the city of al-Bab have killed 95 people including 40 children, during the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, ISIS published on Sunday a new video showing its militants had seized two German-made Turkish tanks, asserting that the group killed and injured around 70 members of the Turkish Special Forces in al-Bab.
In Idlib, where Russia and the Syrian regime have increased their airstrikes, a prevailing insecurity and repetitive assassination reign. Opposition factions are worried from the insecure situation and they accuse cells linked to ISIS in the city to stand behind those operations.
Director of the SOHR Rami Abdelrahman said it was most probable that Fatah al-Sham or Al-Aqsa front might be responsible for those assassinations. However, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat: “There are doubts that the attackers might be a non-Syrian group that arrived from Raqqa to Idlib’s suburb in coordination with Jund al-Aqsa and al-Nusra more than a month ago. This group said it had split from ISIS.”