Turkey Says Attacks on Northern Syria Killed 38 ISIS Fighters

Weekend Attacks Destroyed 23 Buildings in al-Bab

by Jason Ditz, January 09, 2017

The latest statement from the Turkish military reported that they killed another 48 ISIS fighters on Sunday in a flurry of attacks around the north Syrian city of al-Bab, just east of the major city of Aleppo. Al-Bab is the last major ISIS-held city in Aleppo Province, and has been targeted for over a month.

Turkey has been issuing statements claiming dozens of fighters killed several times a week for weeks how, leaving open the question of just how many fighters ISIS had in what was before the war a city of about 60,000 people. Turkey has conspicuously not reported civilian casualties in their figures, and only intermittently mentioned casualties on their side, or among allied rebels.

Turkey invaded northern Syria last year at Jarabulus, along the Euphrates River, and has taken most of ISIS territory west of the river since then, handing it to a coalition of rebel forces based around Azaz. Turkish officials have indicated this is just the beginning, however.

After al-Bab, which Turkey has been targeting for over a month, officials say they’ll move on to Manbij, a city along tyhe Euphrates River under the control of the Kurdish YPG. After that, they intend to invade the Raqqa Province, which is mostly under the control of ISIS, but has some Kurdish-held territory in the north.

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