WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Turkish military has secured its border from Daesh terrorists after liberating the Syrian city of al-Bab, Operation Inherent Resolve commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said in a briefing on Wednesday.
"With the liberation of al-Bab, Turkey has now secured its border from ISIS [Daesh]," Townsend told reporters.
On Friday, Chief of the Turkish General Staff Hulusi Akar said that al-Bab was under control and the goals of the Euphrates Shield operation in Syria had been achieved.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the aim of the operation is to clear the territory of 5,000 square kilometers (1,930 square miles) in Syria as part of the operation and create a safe zone for refugees. Al-Bab is located 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of the Turkish border.
The operation has been widely criticized both by the Syrian Kurds and Damascus, who have accused Ankara of violating Syria's territorial integrity.