21 ISIL militants ‘neutralized’ in northern Syria: Turkish military

21 ISIL militants ‘neutralized’ in northern Syria: Turkish military

21 ISIL militants ‘neutralized’ in northern Syria: Turkish military

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At least 21 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants were “neutralized” in northern Syria in the last 24 hours as part of the ongoing Euphrates Shield operation, according to a Turkish General Staff statement released early on Feb. 7.      

Authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the militant in question was either killed or captured.      

In addition, 203 ISIL targets, including the jihadist group’s shelters, headquarters, defense positions and vehicles had been hit by Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters with Turkish army’s support, the statement said.    
Turkish Air force also hit 64 shelters and a gun-equipped vehicle used by ISIL militants in Syria’s al-Bab and Bzagah regions.      

The Turkish army is supporting FSA fighters in taking over al-Bab, a strategic city for ISIL, from the jihadist group. Feb. 7 marks the 168th day since the city was surrounded in order to liberate it.      

The statement also said 57 mines and 3,719 improvised explosives had been defused since the start of the operation on Aug. 24, 2016.      

The Turkey-led Euphrates Shield operation began in late August to improve security, support coalition forces, and eliminate the terror threat along the Turkish border using FSA fighters backed by Turkish artillery and jets.