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The Free Syrian Army Expands West Euphrates thanks to Turkish Support | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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man inspects a damage site after double airstrikes on the rebel held Bab al-Nairab neighborhood in Aleppo on August 27, 2016/ Reuters- Abdalrhman Ismail

Beirut- The Free Syrian Army (FSA) continued expanding in the area west the Euphrates River on the Turkish borders on Saturday thanks to the international alliance, specifically Turkey.

The FSA expanded at the expanse of ISIS and Kurdish forces, while Turkish warplanes raided Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) positions south the city of Jarablus in the countryside of northeast Aleppo.

The Hurriyet daily reported earlier that the Turkish armed forces had 50 tanks and 380 personnel on the ground in Syria, only three days after it kicked off Euphrates Shield Operation aimed at protecting its border from ISIS extremists and Kurdish militias.

Activists told Asharq Al-Awast that opposition factions, supported by Turkish tanks, had controlled on Saturday the two villages of West Talj and Hadabat, located in east Aleppo following clashes with ISIS members.

Mohammed Ibrahim Tawil, commander of the Military Revolutionary Council in the city of Al-Bab told Asharq Al-Awsat that since the start of Euphrates Operation few days ago, opposition factions had controlled a large number of villages in the surroundings of Jarablus. Tawil said: “Our battle targets three main parties: ISIS, the Syrian regime and forces from the Democratic Union Party.”

He added that currently, Turkish ground forces were not participating in the operations. “We are capable to fight the battle alone, whether in west or east of Euphrates.

Our operations will move from Jarablus to Manbij and Raqqah and later to other Syrian areas,” Tawil said.

On Saturday, Turkish warplanes have raided several areas in the village of Tal Amarani, south Jarablus.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said SDF militias had advanced to the same area few days ago. However, opposition factions had won control over the village after fighting with these forces using light weapons.

AFP said Turkey on Saturday sent six more tanks into Syria as pro-Ankara forces pressed on with de-mining work in the Syrian town of Jarablus, captured from ISIS this week.

Meanwhile, groups allied to the SDF claimed that Turkish warplanes struck civilian homes and positions held by it.

An AFP photographer in the village of Karkamis on the Turkish side of the border watched six Turkish tanks roll over the frontier into Syria on Saturday.

The Northern Sun Battalion, an SDF faction, said in a statement it was heading to “Jarablus fronts” to help the council against “threats made by factions belonging to Turkey.”