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Syria: Popular Uprising in Northern Aleppo Drives Militants out of Key Border Town

(FNA, 25/12/2016) ~ Civilians’ continued demonstrations in the border town of Jarabulus forced the Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants to leave the town, local sources disclosed on Sunday.

The sources said that people in Jarabulus took control over the town yesterday after days of continued demonstrations against the FSA militants’ presence in their region.

The FSA that is backed by the Turkey-led Euphrates Shield Operation was forced to take all its affiliated groups out of Jarabulus and handed over control of the town to its residents.

People in their demonstrations had called for the full and immediate exit of the Euphrates Shield’s members.

The Free Police, Legal court and lawful bodies are to govern the town.

The popular uprising came after an FSA member gunned down a number of civilians in Jarabulus.

Media sources revealed on Saturday that the Turkish Army suffered heavy death toll in its so-called anti-ISIL operation in Northern Syria and was growingly entangled in waves of problems with no way out.

The Russian language Kommersant daily reported that based on recent information, the Turkish forces suffered heavy casualties in their operation in Northern Syria codenamed the Euphrates Shield that they started over four months ago.

The paper added that 16 Turkish soldiers were killed and 33 more were wounded in only one day, proving that the Turkish operation that once seemed to be successful is now no more than a big problem for the Turkish Command.

The Turkish soldiers and Ankara-backed militant groups faced firm resistance of ISIL in the town of al-Bab in Northern Aleppo. ISIL used it suicide combatants, which surprised the Turkish army and its militant allies and inflicted major losses on them. The Turkish army’s casualties have been unprecedentedly high since the start of Euphrates Shield Operation in August 24.

The Turkey-backed militants also suffered major losses on the same day.

Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik announced in country’s parliament on Thursday that 2,000 sq-km of land were cleansed of ISIL in the Euphrates Shield Operation and over 1,000 militants of ISIL were killed, adding the army was engaged in cleansing operation in the town of al-Bab.

Also, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced in a news conference in Ankara that “ISIL is spending its last days in al-Bab”.

But, news received from the battlefield is something else. ISIL managed to carry out a diverse attack on Turkish forces. They seized two German mad-Leopard tanks of the Turkish army and an armored vehicle. The Turkish army’s offensive and advance have been stopped on al-Bab’s gates. Current situation has nothing to say about a crucial victory of the Turkish army and its militant allies in al-Bab.


excerpt from:  Syria: People in Another City Call for Exit
of Turkey-Backed Euphrates Shield Forces

(FNA, 27/12/2016) ~ Sources in Northern Aleppo province reported on Tuesday that civilians and the city council of Azaz have called for the evacuation of the Ankara-backed militants from their city.

A day after citizens staged massive demonstrations in Jarabulus town in Northeastern Aleppo and called on the Free Syrian Army militants to immediately leave their town, now sources report that the city council of Azaz suspended its operation in reaction to the aggressive behaviors of the forces of the Euphrates Shield.

In the meantime, Azaz citizens condemned the brutalities of the terrorist groups in their town and urged them to pull back their forces from the city and set up their bases outside Azaz, a town of strategic importance along the border with Turkey.

“Some of the terrorist groups deployed in Azaz have taken control of vital facilities and public properties and are preventing the city council and official bodies from doing their duties. These actions have caused the city council to suspend all its operations until all terrorist groups pull out of their town,” the sources said.

Fars News Agency
Submitted by Cem Ertür 
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