Turkey, Russia continue joint airstrikes against ISIL near al-Bab
ANKARATurkish and Russian warplanes have struck Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) positions near Syria’s al-Bab, a strategic town Turkey and Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) elements are trying to capture from the jihadist group, the Turkish Armed Forces said in a written statement early Jan. 2.
Turkish warplanes destroyed eight ISIL targets in al-Bab, Bzagah and Tadif, killing 22 ISIL militants on Jan.1, while Russian jets hit ISIL elements in Dayr Kak, eight kilometers southwest of al-Bab, on Jan. 1.
The statement said the operation to capture al-Bab is still ongoing as 103 ISIL positions have been covered with artillery fire with many of them destroyed.
Russia began hitting ISIL positions near al-Bab last week after Ankara and Moscow jointly brokered a cease-fire between the regime and opposition groups.
Russian support came after Turkey criticized the U.S.-led international coalition for not backing its military offensive against ISIL.