According to Turkey’s state-run news agency, attacks against the northern Syrian city of al-Bab killed at least 22 people, all of them “terrorists.” According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, a substantial number of civilians were slain in the airstrikes and artillery fire.
The Observatory reported at least 10 civilians slain, including a small child, in attacks around al-Bab and the surrounding area. Turkey has been trying to capture the city, the last major ISIS city in the Aleppo Province, for months, but so far without success.
Turkey’s official military statements on operations almost never acknowledge civilian casualties, and indeed rarely admit to any casualties on their side either, simply reporting large numbers of ISIS fighters killed on a daily basis, which for some reason never seems to be enough to secure a city of around 60,000 people.
Turkish officials have previously indicated that after al-Bab, their next focus would be on the city of Manbij, under the control of the Kurdish YPG, before advancing into the Raqqa Province. The al-Bab push has taken so much longer than anyone expected, however, it’s not clear that Turkey still plans to try to go so much further in their Syria invasion.
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