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Turkey says allied Syrian rebels nearing al-Bab

AP , Sunday 6 Nov 2016
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Views: 1319

Turkey's president says allied Syrian opposition fighters are fast approaching the Syrian town of al-Bab, a stronghold of the Islamic State group.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised speech Sunday that "our aim is to go to al-Bab and expel them toward the south," adding that the opposition fighters were up to 9 miles (15 kilometers) from the town.

He did not comment on an announcement by Syrian Kurdish-led forces that they had launched an offensive to recapture the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the extremist group's self-styled caliphate.

Both groups of Syrian fighters have been battling IS in recent months, but they have also turned their guns on each other. Turkey views the Syrian Kurdish forces as an extension of the Kurdish insurgency in its southeast.

The Turkey-backed forces have vowed to drive both IS and the Syrian Kurdish forces from the border.

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