According to Reuters, the predominately Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG) and the U.S. backed “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) are planning to attack the so-called “Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham” (ISIS) inside the northern Aleppo cities of Jarabalus and Menbeij after a successful military operation at the Tishreen Dam.
Jarabalus is a small city that borders the southern bank of the Euphrates River that separates both Syria and Turkey; if captured by YPG and SDF, then they can ultimately repair the destroyed bridge and begin to reuse the border-crossing into Turkey.
The city of Menbeij is also located in northern Aleppo; however, this has long been an ISIS stronghold and will likely be far more difficult to capture due to the hostile population inside the city.
While the aforementioned cities will be a priority for the YPG and SDF in northern Aleppo, the latter will also shift their attention to the Islamist-held city of ‘Azaz that is also situated along the Turkish border.
This alleged attack on ‘Azaz may stir up some issues with neighboring Turkey, who has vehemently supported the Islamist rebel forces in northern Syria against the YPG, SDF, ISIS, and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
The YPG’s northern Aleppo offensive might be the first time that Turkish ground troops actively participate in the Syrian conflict; this is due to the latter’s antipathy for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) inside eastern Turkey.