The Syrian Free Army militia, which Turkey has reorganized it under the name of the National Army of Syria, claimed control of the villages of Maranaz and Malikiya in northern Syria on Saturday, amid reports of a joint operation by the two sides against Kurdish insurgents in Tel Rifaat.

A statement by the Syrian National Army said its elements managed to control the villages of Maranaz and Malikiya as a result of clashes with Kurdish “protection units” which controlled the two villages in the province of Aleppo.

In this context, a source closes to the “Free Syrian Army” that his factions are preparing in cooperation with the Turkish army “to launch a military operation in the coming hours on the city of Tel Refaat, after an emergency meeting held hours ago”.

The source added that the forces “the Turkish army and the Free Army factions began bombing the Kurdish positions in Tel Rifat in preparation for the military operation expected”.

The source also pointed out that “the removal of the dirt barriers separating the Turkish army forces and the Free Syrian Army from Kurdish militants has begun”.

The move came after the killing of a Turkish officer and wounding another, earlier Saturday, an attack by the “Kurdish People Protection Units” in the northern region of Afrin, from the city of Tel Rifaat.

Turkey and its forces are controlled by the Free Syrian Army in large areas of Aleppo province in northern Syria, as a result of Operation Shield of the Euphrates, which was carried out on August 24, 2016 against ISIS and the Olive Branch operation, which has been ongoing since 20 January 2018, against Kurdish “people protection units” that Ankara considers it as a terrorist group.

The Turkish Government has repeatedly affirmed its intention to continue its military activities in Syria, in order to eliminate the threats emanating from it from the rest of the territory of Aleppo, as well as to the eastern Euphrates under the control of the People’s Protection Units.

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