Turkish and FSA forces ‘almost completely’ take al-Bab from Islamic State

Turkish-backed FSA militants in al-Bab, northern Syria

Turkish officials and Free Syrian Army (FSA) sources have said their forces have taken most of al-Bab, the northern Syrian town, from the Islamic State (IS) group, however counter claims have also been reported.

In a statement Turkey’s Defence Minister, Fikri Isik, said the center of al-Bab and most of its areas had been taken by Turkish forces and Turkey-backed FSA groups.

This statement was corroborated by FSA militants of the Al-Hamza Brigade who said the whole of the town, which Turkish-FSA forces launched an operation against in December 2016, was taken.

However the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) contradicted these claims and said that half of the town was still in the hands of IS militants and that clashes continued.

Pro-rebel sources also said Turkish-FSA forces had reached an agreement with remaining IS militants to withdraw from al-Bab with their weapons.