Turkey readying offensive for Aleppo’s Al-Bab

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According to various sources, the Turkish Army is in the process of preparing an incursion further south into Syria’s Aleppo province.  It is expected that the Turkish Army and the rebel groups fighting alongside it will make move towards ISIS’ stronghold, Al-Bab in the coming hours.

The Turkish Army and rebel groups have already established a corridor from Jarablus to Azaz pocket on the Syrian-Turkish border.

Al-Bab is 10km from government-controlled areas, and around 20-25km from both Turkish and Kurdish controlled territory. If the Turkish Army and the rebels succeed in controlling Al-Bab, they would prevent the two Kurdish cantons from joining, something that Turkey has been working on achieving.

A Turkish push to Al-Bab though will not be easy as taking Jarablus. Al-Bab is further south and the Turkish supply lines will have to stretch, and probably overstretch. If ISIS tries to pull up a fight in Al-Bab (unlike no resistance shown in Jarablus), the Turkish troops and the rebels will have to fight urban warfare, something which will make Turkish armor more vulnerable to RPG and anti-tank missile attacks.

Operation Euphrates Shield has taken a pause in the past couple of days due to Al-Adha holidays.

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