03:32 GMT +331 March 2017
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    Su-25 jets of the Russian Aerospace Forces at the Hmeymim airbase, Syria

    Russian Jets Strike Daesh Positions Near al-Bab to Support Turkish Troops

    © Sputnik/ Dmitriy Vinogradov
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    After brokering a ceasefire agreement between the Syrian government and opposition rebel groups, Russia bolstered Turkish military operations in the fight against Daesh, with three airstrikes around al-Bab.

    Euphrates Shield, a Turkish operation to defend its border from terrorists, received a notable boost from Moscow. Turkish military officials announced that Russian fighter jets eliminated 12 Daesh militants in airstrikes.

    The Turkish army and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are tightening their grip on the Daesh-held city, FSA division commander Taha Atraç told Sputnik Turkey of the progress in the region. The Syrian commander expects al-Bab to be liberated "within the next few days."

    One complication stalling efforts to overtake al-Bab is terrorists’ use of civilians as human shields, Atraç said. The human rights atrocity of mercilessly using citizens as shields is slowing Euphrates Shield efforts. “Without all these civilians in the town we would have seized the city a long time ago.”

    Nevertheless, FSA’s 1,500 troops have advanced from the north, east, and west of al-Bab, to surround Daesh. The FSA and Turkey must monitor the south, where jihadists can funnel in reinforcements from the Daesh stronghold of Raqqa.

    Turkey hopes to secure al-Bab for strategic purposes that extend beyond ousting Daesh, since capturing the city would stop Kurdish forces from claiming the city and unifying their territories.

    On Thursday, a ceasefire deal took effect nationwide in Syria, but Daesh was not party to the agreement. Hence, Turkey has looked to Russia and the US-coalition in the region for backup reinforcements in the al-Bab theater. The US has been coy in supporting Turkey as Washington has backed the Kurdish YPG, a group that has long sought to create their own nation, independent of Ankara.

    Turkey claims that some 1,171 Daesh fighters and 291 Kurdish troops have been killed since the Euphrates Shield operation began roughly four months ago.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    terror group, airstrike, Daesh, Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Free Syrian Army (FSA), Taha Atraç, al-Bab
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    • Jet fuel can't melt steel beams
      And happy new year guys! Well done Russia!
    • avatar
      Kemalist77
      finally somebody help us. but oh wait..we didnt part of nato and ally of usa? where they are? ofc they are busy with helping terrorist kurds and radical islamist. Turkey must go out nato. nato and usa wanna destroy turkey iran syria iraq and launch big kurdistan for be a puppet nation.
    • Amin von Elysion
      the turkish army is forcing refugees to fight or die in its operation and reportedly its not even arming many of them but sending them to run toward the enemy so again turkey shows that its a muslim brotherhood terrorist state
    • avatar
      Antares Prime
      This will be very embarassing for the United States. Not only is Russia on the right side of this conflict, not only is it proving to be more skilled and adept at dealing with Daesh and Al-Qa'eda, which the US doesn't care about and has even taken Al-Qa'eda's side, but now it has successfully coopted Turkey, the key NATO ally, into its regional plan. There is hope to defeat Daesh and Al-Qa'eda after all, and both the Mideast and the West will be better for it. Thank you President Putin, for saving the day!
    • avatar
      michael
      I wonder if the daesh degenerates are looking forward to paradise?
    • avatar
      cast235
      KEEP watching RAQQA and the terrorists running to the place and litter them all over..
      HEARD DAESH, AL NUSRA and others were going to ask U.N and TRUMP for protection.
      Trump woill prep soe special secured place for them IF captured.
      TRUMP may ask PUTIN for the captives. To protect them from BARBARIC Russia..

      TERRORISTS are growing wiser. BEST to hide from Russia.
      Russia is VERY DANGEROUS to Terrorists HEALTH and WELFARE !!
    • avatar
      Athanasios
      Intelligent Russian policy in Syria, I mean the deal with the Turks. I was skeptical at first, especially after the failed coup in Turkey, but apparently the Russians are superior players in the long run. It all makes sense now. Happy new year, and God bless.
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