9 ISIL militants ‘neutralized’ in northern Syria: Military

9 ISIL militants ‘neutralized’ in northern Syria: Military

9 ISIL militants ‘neutralized’ in northern Syria: Military

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A total of nine Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants have been “neutralized” in northern Syria over the last 24 hours as part of the ongoing Euphrates Shield operation, the Turkish military said Jan. 15.  

Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the militants in question were either killed or captured.      

According to a statement issued by the Turkish General Staff, a total of 186 ISIL targets including shelters, defense positions, command control centers, weapons and vehicles were hit with howitzers and tanks multiple-launch rocket launchers.      

Separately, Turkish jets destroyed 12 other ISIL targets including a control point in air raids on the al-Bab and Bzagah regions, the statement added.      

The Turkish army is supporting Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters in liberating al-Bab, a strategic city for ISIL, from the jihadist group. Jan. 15 marks the 145th day since the city was surrounded.      

The operation is part of the Turkish-led Euphrates Shield operation, which began in late August 2016 to improve security, support coalition forces and eliminate the terror threat along Turkey’s border using FSA fighters backed by Turkish artillery and jets. In total, 43 landmines and 2,927 makeshift explosives have been defused since the start of the operation on Aug. 24, 2016.