Turkey ‘neutralizes’ ISIL’s political leader in al-Bab
ANKARATurkish forces have neutralized the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) governor of al-Bab as part of its ongoing Euphrates Shield operation, while a total of 84 ISIL militants were also neutralized over the weekend.
Turkish authorities use the word “neutralized” to refer to militants who are killed, incapacitated or captured.
The governor of Syria’s northern town of al-Bab, Abu Khalid Urduni, was among 32 ISIL militants the Turkish army neutralized with its air strikes on al-Bab on Feb. 3, state-run Anadolu Agency quoted military sources from the region as saying on Feb. 5.
The report stated that Urduni’s death was also confirmed by internal correspondence within ISIL.
Turkey has been fighting to capture al-Bab from ISIL since summer last year.
ISIL’s governor in its main headquarters of Raqqa sent a letter to the newly appointed governor of al-Bab, in which the former acknowledged the death of Urduni and wished his successor success, Anadolu Agency reported.
Turkey launched its Euphrates Shield Operation on Aug. 24, 2016, in order to clear its border of terrorist groups which include not only ISIL but also the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Turkey regards as a terrorist organization due to its links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Over the weekend, a total of 84 ISIL militants were killed as part of Turkey’s operation in northern Syria, while more than 450 ISIL targets were hit.
Some 33 ISIL members were neutralized in the last 24 hours as part of Turkey-backed Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, the military announced on Feb. 5.
The Turkish Armed Forces also hit 259 ISIL targets in northern Syria, the General Staff said in a statement to mark the operation’s 166th day.
Turkish jets destroyed 39 targets, including 32 buildings, three headquarters, an arsenal, two bomb-laden vehicles, and a tunnel entrance used by the terrorists in the al-Bab and Bzagah regions.
The statement also said 57 mines and 3,680 improvised explosives had been defused since the start of the operation in late August last year.
One day prior, the military said in a separate statement that a total of 51 ISIL militants were neutralized.
Turkish General Staff said in a statement that four of the neutralized were also emirs/regional heads for ISIL in the al-Bab and Bzagah regions.
On the 165th day of the operation, international coalition forces conducted eight air strikes on ISIL targets in al-Bab and destroyed two defensive positions and two armed vehicles.
Turkish fighter jets also hit 65 ISIL targets and destroyed 56 buildings and three headquarters, the statement added.