ISIL preparing to withdraw from al-Bab: Turkish military sources
ANKARAIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadists have started to leave their positions and withdraw from the northwestern Syrian town of al-Bab following an intense military campaign conducted by the Turkish army and Free Syrian Army (FSA) elements, military sources said on Jan. 27.
Sources, citing intelligence from the region, stated that ISIL had relocated its headquarters and all other centers to the Tadif region south of al-Bab.
“In light of recent information from the region, it can be said that ISIL is preparing to withdraw from al-Bab as a result of the military operation of the Turkish Armed Forces,” sources said.
Turkey launched its Euphrates Shield Operation with the FSA on Aug. 24, 2016, clearing a 2,000-square kilometer area of ISIL jihadists. The TSK and the FSA have besieged al-Bab since late November but come up against stiff ISIL resistance.
A majority of local people in al-Bab have fled the town despite ISIL’s measures and the city currently has only 15,000 to 18,000 residents, according to sources, who say the jihadists are using civilians as “human shields.”