In the wake of a ceasefire agreement between the Syrian government and rebel groups, Russia supported Turkish military operations in the battle against ISIS, with three airstrikes around al-Bab.
Euphrates Shield, a Turkish operation to safeguard its fringe from terrorists, got a notable help from Moscow. Turkish military authorities reported that Russian fighter jets took out 12 ISIS militants in airstrikes.
The Turkish armed forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are fixing their grip on the ISIS-held city, FSA division authority Taha Atraç told Sputnik Turkey of the advance in the region. The Syrian commander anticipates that city of al-Bab will be freed “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.”
Although, Free Syrian Army deployed 1,500 troops to the north, east, and west of al-Bab, in order to surround ISIS. The FSA and Turkey must monitor the south, where militants can introduce reinforcements from the ISIS-stronghold of Raqqa.
Turkey hopes to secure al-Bab for strategic purposes that extend beyond ousting ISIS, since capturing the city would stop Kurdish forces from claiming the city and consolidating their territories which could be seen as a problem by the Turkish government.