44 ISIL militants ‘neutralized’ in Syria’s al-Bab: Turkish military
REUTERS photoSome 44 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants have been “neutralized” in Syria’s al-Bab as part of the ongoing Euphrates Shield Operation, the Turkish Armed Forces has announced.
In a statement covering updates until 7 a.m. on Dec. 28, the military stated that 44 ISIL militants were neutralized after shots were fired from fire support vehicles while another 117 were wounded.
Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” to imply militants who have been captured or killed.
It also added that a bomb-laden vehicle belonging to the militants was also destroyed.
According to the military, seven Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters were also wounded in clashes throughout the day.
In addition, some 154 ISIL targets were destroyed in the operation, including sanctuaries, defense positions, command centers, weapons and vehicles used by the militants.
The military also stated that five hand-made explosives were destroyed, adding to a total of 2,392 explosives and 42 mines that have been destroyed since the launch of the operation in August.
Turkish troops along with FSA fighters have been fighting for al-Bab against ISIL for over one month and clashes intensified last week.
Turkey launched its Euphrates Shield Operation on Aug. 24, in order to free its border of terrorist organizations, which not only include ISIL but also the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG). Turkey considers them as terror organizations due to their purported ties with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
A total of 40 Turkish soldiers were killed in the operation.