Pro-Ankara rebels, Syria regime 'agree security line' in Al-Bab

Posted February 16, 2017

Together with the Syrian opposition Turkey took over the city of Jarabulus in north Syria and is now attacking the al-Bab city.

That raised to 67 the number of Turkish soldiers killed since Ankara began Operation Euphrates Shield in August, targeting both IS and the Kurdish YPG militia.

"Al Bab has been largely taken under control".

"Our aim is to prevent the opening of corridors from territories controlled by terrorist organisations to Turkey", he said.

Observers said the attacks on al-Bab were coordinated between the Russians and the Turks, until recently when the Syrian army clashed with the Euphrates Shield rebels near al-Bab, during which the Russian artillery "accidentally" fired and killed three Turkish soldiers and wounded 11 others.

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Al-Bab has been under IS control since 2014, when the group seized large swathes of territory in Syria and neighbouring Iraq, proclaiming its self-described caliphate.

Erdogan, speaking in Istanbul, said Al-Bab "is now besieged from all fronts". Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım recently said on February 14 that al-Bab was now "largely" under the control of the Syrian rebels after months of clashes with jihadists. Al-Bab is one of Daeshs last remaining strongholds near the Turkish border.

In addition, 194 Daesh targets - including the terror group's shelters, headquarters, defense positions, and vehicles - were hit by Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters with Turkish army support, said a Turkish General Staff statement.

The reports of unusual cooperation between the warring factions have yet to be confirmed.

An unnamed military source said Syrian forces liberated the Hayan oil field in the desert region of Palmyra, located 215 kilometers northeast of the capital, Damascus, on Tuesday, killing scores of terrorists in the process.