Turkish warplanes struck 15 targets in the al-Bab area of northern Syria on Nov. 13 in an operation with Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters to drive Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants out of the border region, the Turkish military said on Nov. 14.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said seizing control of al Bab, around 30 km (19 miles) south of the border, is a goal of the operation before targeting Manbij, from which Kurdish-led forces recently drove ISIL, and the ISIL stronghold of Raqqa.
Ten ISIL defensive positions, command centers and an ammunition store were destroyed in the strikes, the army said in a statement. Nine FSA fighters were killed and 52 wounded during clashes in the region, it added.
The Turkish military launched the operation, dubbed ‘Euphrates Shield’, on Aug. 24 and the FSA forces have so far seized control of about 1,620 square km (625 square miles) of territory, the military said.
The operation has also targeted the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in the region and 10 of the group’s fighters were ‘neutralized’ 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 ISIL. Ankara denounces the YPG as an affiliate of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).