US, Coalition Pull Support From Turkish Advance in Syria

Turkish fighters have moved alone into the small city of al Bab, pushing to beat Kurdish forces to the city and prompting the removal of US advisors that had been on the ground accompanying the ir advance. Air Force Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said during a Wednesday briefing that the Turkish forces are within a couple of kilometers to the city and “encountering some pretty tough resistance.” Turkey made the decision on their own to take the city without planning with the coalition, and US aircraft have avoided providing any air support for the advance, Dorrian said. US aircraft and advisers had previously actively supported Turkey in battles near its border. “This is a situation where Turkey, with their partnered force, have made the decision that they’re going to take al Bab,” Dorrian said. “It’s a very complicated battlefield with a lot of actors, with sometimes competing interests.” (See also: Working with Turkey to Defeat ISIS in Syria and Turkish Cooperation Key in Raqqa Fight.)