In my opinion, the real war and especially the battle of al-Bab, revealed serious institutional weaknesses of the Turkish army, which in peacetime was not so obvious. This applies both to the training of mechanized units and command structures responsible for operational planning. As a result, for several months, one of the strongest NATO armies can’t defeat a group of militants numbering about 3-3,5 thousand men in al-Bab, with at least a five-fold superiority in manpower, not to mention the overwhelming superiority in artillery, armored vehicles and aircraft.
This article will show some of the many instances of the Free Syrian Army and other “moderate opposition” working alongside extremist groups. It will also make clear that cooperation between these groups is not a recent development. Extremist groups presented in this article include Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, Jund al-Aqsa and even ISIS.
Joseph Dunford, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Turkey on Friday for discussions about the offensive to retake Raqqa, the Islamic State (IS) stronghold in northern Syria, al-Monitor said.
Overall, the operation to storm al-Bab is delayed while the parties solve their problem, and if the SAA are quite clear on their operational objectives, the actions of the Turks cause much more questions as to their military planning. In the end, the elimination of al-bab group of the Caliphate will obviously take more time than expected.
Erdogan said that after the completion of the operation in the al-Bab, the Turkish army will attack in Raqqa. Given the configuration of the front line, just stepping through the territory of the Kurds.
The Kurds, in turn, expecting trouble on the part of Erdogan, are continuing to recruit battalions of new recruits in Rojava and continue operations in the area of Raqqa, in approaching the Eastern and North-Eastern outskirts of the capital of the Caliphate.
In fact, at al-Bab the Turks are trying to gnaw through the defense of “black” in the Western areas of al-Bab, gradually moving to the center of the city. The enemy provided a strong resistance from the 9th-11th February. However, the retreat from Tarifa, the Elevator and the intersection, and termination of counter-attacks, can attest to the fact that “black” began preparations for the retreat of al-Bab, for which they must hold Bza ah to preserve a corridor for the retreat, which they can use today or tomorrow night to salvage the main forces from encirclement and destruction. The abandonment by “black” of Qabasin can be a marker of acceleration of events. In General, it is a kind of squeezing of the boiler rather than the encirclement and destruction.
By 9 February, the militants of the Caliphate managed to hold the mouth of the boiler and to prevent the connection of the Syrian and Turkish forces to the South-East of Bza ah. Counterattacks to the North of Haran in the region of Bza ah slowed the progress of the SAA and Pro-Turkish militants, which allowed black to keep the communication group operating in the area of al-Bab and the main territory of the Caliphate. The neck at this stage is about 3 kilometers.