19:05 GMT +306 December 2019
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    Fighters from the Free Syrian Army monitor the area during battles against Islamic State (IS) group jihadists near the town of Qabasin, located northeast of the city of Al-Bab

    Damascus Prepares Anti-Daesh Al-Bab Op Amid Turkish Attempt to Liberate City

    © AFP 2019 / Nazeer al-Khatib
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    The Syrian army plans to launch an offensive against Daesh in northwestern town of al-Bab amid the ongoing Turkish military operation in the area, media reported Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Syrian troops have been amassing in a village to the southwest of the al-Bab as well as the Kuweires military airbase in preparation for assault against Daesh, the Fars news agency said, quoting field sources.

    Kuweires, an outpost previously besieged by Daesh and liberated in November 2015, is set to become the springboard for the offensive.

    The Turkish military, Turkish-back Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces, the Kurdish Rojava forces and the Syrian army are all currently converging on Daesh-held al-Bab.

    On August 24, 2016, the Turkish army launched Operation Euphrates Shield against Daesh militants. Turkish forces, with assistance from Syrian opposition fighters, occupied the city of Jarabulus in northern Syria and are currently conducting an offensive on al-Bab. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the aim of the operation is to clear the region of terrorists and make it a safety zone for refugees.

    The operation has been widely criticized both by the Syrian Kurds and Damascus, who have accused Ankara of violating Syria's territorial integrity.


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