17:58 GMT04 August 2020
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    Ankara plans to clean the northern Syrian cities of Manbij and al-Bab from Daesh militants soon and create safe zones there, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — On August 24, Turkish forces, backed by US-led coalition aircraft, began a military operation dubbed Euphrates Shield to clear the Syrian border town of Jarablus and the surrounding area of Daesh, outlawed in Russia and many other countries. On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Jarablus had been cleansed of Daesh, and Turkey planned to defeat the jihadists in al-Bab.

    "This is what we have been asking at every meeting — without ground operation, you cannot defeat this bloody terrorist organization… [We plan] to make this area, Manbij, a safe zone, and to clean Daesh from this region, al-Bab should be the next target. But Raqqa is the kind of capital of Daesh in Syria, and Mosul is their capital in Iraq, they have to be defeated in those main two cities, as well," Cavusoglu told CNN.

    Earlier in the day, reports emerged in the media that Daesh militants along with their families started to move from al-Bab to Raqqa in a bid to avoid confrontation with the Turkish forces.

    Syria has been mired in civil war since March 2011, with government forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups.


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