16:14 Oct. 26, 2016
During the pursuit of IS positions near Aleppo Turkish troops and their allies faced confrontation with Assad forces
Forces allied to President Bashar al-Assad in Syria warned Turkey on Wednesday against any advance towards their positions to the north and east of Aleppo, Reuters report. Assadites say any such move would be met "decisively and with force".
The written statement with such threat was sent to Reuters by an official, representing the field commander of the forces allied to official Damascus. The commander, who was not identified by name, nationality or affiliation, said any such advance would be seen as a breach of "the red lines".
"We will not let anyone use the excuse of fighting Daesh (Islamic State) to advance and attempt to draw near to the defenses of the allies forces," he said.
The alliance fighting in support of Assad includes the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, Iraqi militias, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Russian army and private military corporations.
Later the Turkish military said a helicopter "assessed to belong to regime forces" bombed the rebels in a village near Akhtarin, a town 5 km (3 miles) southeast of Dabiq, late on Tuesday, Reuters inform. Dabiq is a former Islamic State stronghold which the rebels seized from the jihadists this month.
It was the first time a direct clash between Syrian forces and the Turkish-backed rebels has been announced. Two rebels were killed and five wounded, the Turkish army said.
In turn Turkey said on Wednesday it will press its military offensive in Syria until Islamic State is driven from the town of al-Bab, despite a warning from forces allied to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a helicopter attack on the rebels it backs.
Turkey's incursion into Syria, launched two months ago to drive Islamic State from its border and prevent Kurdish militia fighters gaining ground in their wake, has complicated an already messy battlefield in northern Syria.
As the Turkish-backed rebels push south towards al-Bab, an Islamic State-held town 35 km (22 miles) northeast of Aleppo, they face confrontation with both Kurdish and pro-Assad forces, whose frontlines lie close by.
"This operation will continue until al-Bab. The operation needs to continue, and it will," he said.
Turkish state-run Anadoly Agency stated that "Bashar al-Assad's forces are helping Daesh and PKK/PYD (Kurdish forces – UT) in opposing the Free Syrian Army (FSA)".
Commander Abu Ramadan informed agency that Daesh and the PKK/PYD were acting together along the Marea-Jarabulus line in northern Aleppo province.
"Daesh came into action four years ago when Assad could not cope with the opposition," he told Anadolu. "Now, the regime not only helps Daesh but also PKK/PYD in the region."
The Political editor of German Bild media outlet Julian Roepke goes even further and states on Twitter: "Let's be crystal-clear: Russian air force jets are defending ISIS ground troops vs. Turkish-led rebels, advancing on al-Bab". He made such conclusion after Assad and Putin jets bombed the FSA troops after they took two villages from IS (check the map).