Islamic State jihadists start evacuation of Syrian border city to avoid clashes with army

ISIS militants. File photo

ARA News 

ALEPPO – After two years of taking over the Syrian northwestern city of al-Bab, militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) have reportedly started evacuating their headquarters in the city, local sources confirmed on Tuesday.

Hundreds of ISIS militants were seen leaving al-Bab city and its suburbs towards the group’s main bastion of Raqqa. 

Al-Bab, located in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo near the border with Turkey, has for long served as a transit point for foreign jihadists who crossed Turkey looking forward to joining ISIS ranks. 

“The group started on Tuesday moving its militants and weapons from al-Bab and the surrounding villages towards Raqqa,” informed local sources told ARA News.

This comes amid a dramatic advance by the Syrian army forces towards al-Bab, supported by a Russian air cover. 

Speaking to ARA News in al-Bab, media activist Muhannad al-Jassim said: “Even commanders of ISIS were seen leaving the city with their families. They all headed to Raqqa.” 

“Apparently the evacuation will take some time, as hundreds of other militants are still stationed in the group’s headquarters in al-Bab and its suburbs,” Jassim said. 

The source confirmed that ISIS has also removed most of its armored vehicles and heavy weapons from the area. 

Backed by Russian warplanes, the Syrian regime’s military forces have recently recaptured large areas in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo.

Reporting by: Taim Khalil

Source: ARA News

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