18:04 GMT09 April 2020
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    Battle Against Daesh in Syria (180)

    Washington is backing Russian airstrikes to support a Turkish offensive against Daesh forces holding the strategic northern Syrian city of al-Bab, with continued US support for Turkish troops in the month-old battle, US Department of Defense acting Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs Elissa Slotkin said in a briefing on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Thursday, Russia and Turkey signed an agreement to ensure flight security and unspecified military cooperation as Turkish ground forces advance on al-Bab, according to Turkish media reports.

    "I don’t see al-Bab as radically different than other places in Syria where we have actively worked with the Turks," Slotkin told reporters. "Now the Russians are there and so that definitely is an important factor."

    Asked whether the United States continues to support Turkish ground forces in the al-Bab offensive, despite Russian involvement, Slotkin replied: "Of course there’s support to al-Bab."

    Russia and the United States are waging separate air campaigns to defeat Daesh forces in Syria, albeit with differing objectives. Russia backs the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad while the US is fighting Daesh and is demanding Assad's resignation.

    Turkish ground troops began the latest offensive on al-Bab in December, following a Turkey-Russia brokered ceasefire that largely held, allowing civilians to escape.

    Al-Bab is located in northern Syria, midway between the nation’s largest city of Aleppo and Manbij — cities that have been cleared of Daesh fighters.

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    Battle Against Daesh in Syria (180)


    Turkish Forces Kill 19 Daesh Militants Near Al-Bab in Syria - General Staff
    Damascus Prepares Anti-Daesh Al-Bab Op Amid Turkish Attempt to Liberate City
    Al-Bab Will Be Liberated 'Within Next Few Days' – Syrian Commander
    Turkish Army 'Bearing Brunt of Anti-Daesh Operation in Syria's al-Bab' – Expert
    The Syrian war, Daesh, Pentagon, Elissa Slotkin, al-Bab, Turkey, United States, Syria
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