51 ISIS militants killed in Turkish airstrikes in Syria’s al-Bab

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Pro-Turkey Euphrates Shield rebels in Syria (L). File photo

ARA News

Hasakah – The Turkish Airforce on Saturday launched several airstrikes on Islamic State’s (ISIS) positions in al-Bab city in northern Syria, killing and wounding dozens of ISIS militants, officials said.

The Turkish Army’s Central Command said that its warplanes hit 59 ISIS positions in al-Bab, killing at least 51 ISIS fighters.

“Saturday’s air raids led to the destruction of 56 ISIS-held buildings and three command centres in al-Bab city and the nearby town of Baza’a,” the Turkish Army said in a statement.

“51 militants were confirmed dead in the strikes, including three leading members of the [ISIS] group,” it added.

This comes amid continued military operations by Turkish forces and allied rebel fighters of the Euphrates Shield Brigades in the vicinity of al-Bab, in an effort to take the city from ISIS.

Abu Iad al-Shami, a member of the Euphrates Shield Brigades, told ARA News that their fighters expelled ISIS from major parts of eastern al-Bab.

“Supported by a Turkish air cover, our forces seized control of key areas in eastern al-Bab, closing in on ISIS inside the city,” al-Shami said.

Also, the rebel groups and Turkish army forces on Saturday captured the al-Shamawiya al-Hammah village in southern al-Bab after clashes with ISIS, military sources told ARA News.

Turkey and its rebel allies have been bogged down in al-Bab for almost two months, taking significant casualties without securing any of the city’s neighborhoods. ISIS constructed a warren of tunnels and an extensive trench line in anticipation of the fighting.

On August 24, the Turkish military and allied rebel factions launched Operation Euphrates Shield. As part of the operation, Turkey’s military and its allies took over Jarablus city in August.

In early January, the Russia Air Force conducted several airstrikes near al-Bab, targeting Islamic State’s tactical units and fighting positions. The Russian air raids destroyed at least five ISIS strongholds, killing and wounding dozens of ISIS militants.

On 4 January, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Turkey-backed offensive of the Euphrates Shield Operation to take Syria’s al-Bab city from ISIS should conclude soon.

Reporting by: Ahmed Muhammad | Source: ARA News

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