Speaking to Pentagon reporters via videoconference from Baghdad, anti-Daesh coalition spokesman, Col. John Dorrian said it would not take time for the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces – Free Syrian Army (FSA) – to take over the northwestern Syrian town of al-Bab from Daesh, according to Anadolu Agency.
“They’ve not yet moved into al-Bab and taken the city, but they are very, very close –encountering some very pretty tough resistance. They do expect to be able to power through that,” he said.
According to Dorrian, the coalition has not been a part of the Turkish advance toward al-Bab and has not given air support to Turkish-backed forces.
The Turkish Armed Forces issued a statement that said the fighters, who are backed by Turkey, were martyred Wednesday but did not specify where the fighting took place. However, Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces have been fighting Daesh around Al–Bab, 38 kilometers (24 miles) northeast of Aleppo, reported World Bulletin, citing Anadolu Agency.
The military added that 60 Daesh and three PKK/PYD targets were hit in airstrikes, including shelters, defensive positions, command centers, guns and vehicles. Again, it did not give a location.
Under Operation Euphrates Shield, launched on Aug. 24 in a bid to clear terrorist groups from Syria’s northern border region, Turkish air power, artillery, armor and special forces have backed the FSA.
Tuesday’s casualties came amid Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield which began in late August to clear Syria’s northern border area of terrorists. Wednesday marks the 85th day of the operation, reported Anadolu Agency.
Turkey said three Daesh terrorists were also captured in Tuesday’s fighting.
FSA special taskforce soldiers gained control of two villages in the Al–Bab area — Kabbasin and Al-Kufayr.
The Turkish military said Syrian opposition forces also hit 74 Daesh and one PKK/PYD target on Tuesday, including shelters, command-and-control centers and vehicles.
Over 200 residential areas, including more than 1,720 square kilometers (656 square miles), of land in northern Syria have been cleared of Daesh terrorists as part of Operation Euphrates Shield so far.