Turkish warplanes struck 15 targets in the Al-Bab area of northern Syria yesterday in an operation with Syrian opposition forces to drive Daesh out of the border region, the Turkish military said today.
President Rcep Tayyip Erdogan has said seizing control of Al-Bab, around 30 kilometres south of the border, is a goal of the operation before targeting Manbij, from which Kurdish-led forces recently drove Daesh, and the Daesh stronghold of Raqqa.
Ten Daesh defensive positions, command centres and an ammunition store were destroyed in the strikes, the army said in a statement. Nine Syrian rebels were killed and 52 wounded, it added.
The operation also targeted the Kurdish YPG militia in the region and 10 of the group’s fighters were “neutralised” in shelling over the last 24 hours as they tried to seize control of the Tal Jijan area, the statement said.
The YPG is an ally of the United States in its fight against Daesh. Ankara denounces the YPG as an affiliate of the PKK, which has fought the Turkish military in southeast Turkey for three decades and which is designated as a terrorist group by Ankara, the United States and the European Union.