At the end of February, Chief of the Turkish General Staff Hulusi Akar said that the city of al-Bab was under control and the goals of the Euphrates Shield operation in Syria had been achieved.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim talking about the successful completion of the operation added that in the event of a threat to the country's security, a new operation is possible.
“We already have one base in Chobani region [territory of Syria near Turkish border). Our General Staff plans to create a new military base in the area of strategic height Akil to the west of al-Bab, where the fiercest battles with Daesh took place. The international community has been notified about this,” Kaynak said in an interview with the Hurriyet newspaper.
He added that the Turkish military contingent in Syria following the Euphrates Shield operation was reduced from 8,000 to 1,500 people.
During the operation to liberate al-Bab from Daesh, Russian and Turkish military aircraft had repeatedly jointly bombed Daesh targets for the first time. The joint campaign was approved by the Syrian authorities.
Al-Bab was one of Daesh’s last remaining strongholds near the Turkish border. It was captured by terrorists in 2013. Taking back the city was of strategic importance to Turkey in order to prevent the Syrian Kurds from doing so and unifying it with their own territories.