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Syria regime set “red line”
around Al-Bab: pro-Assad daily

Al-Akhbar published a bellicose article touting that a Syrian airstrike against Turkish soldiers served as a message to Ankara.

A file photo shows a Syrian jet taking off. (AFP/Stringer)

BEIRUT - A deadly Syrian airstrike against Turkish soldiers served as a message by Damascus to Ankara that it will not allow rebels taking part in the Ankara-led Operation Euphrates Shield to take the key town of Al-Bab, according to a pro-regime daily.

 

“The timing of the airstrike targeting Turkish soldiers came to set Syria’s redlines in the strategic region; storming Al-Bab is forbidden,” an article published Friday by Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar said.

 

The report comes less than a day after a Syrian airstrike outside the ISIS stronghold of Al-Bab killed three Turkish soldiers, prompting Ankara to threaten retaliation.

 

Syria’s government, for its part, has made no official statement on the potentially escalatory incident, while pro-regime outlets based in the war-torn did not broach the subject.

 

Al-Akhbar, however, struck a bellicose tone in its coverage of the incident, calling the ongoing fighting northeast of Aleppo, where the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, regime forces as well as Turkish-backed rebels are all racing toward Al-Bab, a “war of wills.”

 

“The raid that targeted Turkish soldiers leaves Ankara no room for miscalculation or misunderstanding the message that the entry into Al-Bab is forbidden,” the article declared.

 

Al-Akhbar went on to declare that Syria’s armed forces are showing Turkey that it can set “red lines” around Al-Bab, a town that Ankara has long said it wants to include in a buffer zone it is creating in northern Syria that aims to push back ISIS as well as Kurdish forces from the Turkish border.

 

Despite the Syrian airstrike, Turkish-backed forces continued their operations around Al-Bab on Friday, with one Turkish soldier dying in clashes with ISIS.

 

Syrian rebels taking part in Operation Euphrates Shield, which began in late August 2016, have repeatedly vowed to seize the strategic town that lies approximately 30 kilometers northeast of Aleppo.

 

The Kurdish-led SDF meanwhile has advanced toward Al-Bab from both the east and the west, hoping to capture the town and connect Kurdish-controlled cantons in northern Syria, a move Turkey aims to prevent.

 

NOW's English news desk editor Albin Szakola (@AlbinSzakola) wrote this report. Amin Nasr translated Arabic-language source material.

A file photo shows a Syrian jet taking off. (AFP/Stringer)

The timing of the airstrike targeting Turkish soldiers came to set Syria’s redlines in the strategic region; storming Al-Bab is forbidden.

  • dutchnational

    Maybe it is time for the SAA to invade southern Turkey as it is used as a base for syrian terrorists. They can setup a safe zone there of maybe some 10.000 kms and try to take Gaziantep and Mardin. They can use the same arguments that Turkey used to invade Syria, with more justifications as it is Syria being devastated, not Turkey.Any devastation within Turkey is caused by turkish army and police attacking kurds.

    November 28, 2016

  • itchyvet

    Turk soldiers have no business on Syrian soil, they are INVADERS and thus deserve everything the Syrian Government is OBLIGED to throw at them. If they don't like it, all they need to do, is remove themselves from Syrian soil, end of argument.

    November 26, 2016