Turkish delegation enters Tall Rifat city in Aleppo
Aleppo - SMART
On Tuesday, a Turkish military delegation entered the city of Tall Rifat (29 kilometers north of Aleppo), Northern Syria, to complete negotiations with Russian forces, concerning the anticipated battle in the region.
A military commander in the Third Legion of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), calls himself Rami Abu Bahgat, denied that Turkish forces had taken Tall Rifat officially so far. He pointed out that the delegation entered the city to complete negotiations with the Russians in preparation for making it.
The response of Abu Bahjat came after some local and Arab media circulated news about the entry of Turkish forces and FSA factions into the city to take it of Russian troops.
An Audio clip of one of the Turkish officers, involved in the battles in Tall Rifat was published on WhatsApp saying that the Turkish army will seize Tall Rifat in a few hours.
The spokesman for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Afrin area, Brock Hasaka, denied that the Turkish forces had entered the shahba regions (including the city of Tall Rifat and surrounding villages). He stressed the presence of the YPG members in the region and they would face any advance of the Turkish forces and FSA factions.
On Monday night and Tuesday morning, Turkish warplanes and artillery bombed bases of the YPG and the Syrian loyalist forces in Tall Rifat city and the Umm Hawash village north of Aleppo.
Last Sunday, a military commander of the Third Corps reported that the battle for controlling Tall Rifat might begin next April and they will launch an attack on all Arab villages and towns controlled by the YPG. He expected that they would gain control of it in only one day.
Earlier today, the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also stated that the next goal of the Olive Branch Operation is to gain control of Tall Rifat .
On Jan. 20, the Turkish Chief of Staff announced the start of the Olive Branch military operation in the area of Afrin against the YPG. Turkey and FSA factions seized the center of the Afrin and most of its surrounding villages.