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Turkish-backed forces fighting street battles in Syria's al-Bab: defense minister
January 6, 2017 / 9:17 AM / 10 months ago

Turkish-backed forces fighting street battles in Syria's al-Bab: defense minister

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish-backed Syrian rebels are fighting street battles with Islamic State militants in the city of al-Bab, and progress in taking it from the jihadists has been slowed by efforts to avoid civilian casualties, Turkey’s defense minister said on Friday.

Rebel fighters ride on a pick-up truck in the northern Syrian rebel-held town of al-Rai, Syria January 5, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

The rebels, backed by Turkish special forces, tanks and war planes, have been besieging the Islamic State-held city of al-Bab for weeks as part of an operation to drive the jihadists out of a strip of Syrian territory along the Turkish border.

Isik was speaking to broadcaster Haberturk.

Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Nick Tattersall

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