Syria war: Turkish forces ‘push into IS-held al-Bab’

Turkish-backed Syrian rebels have captured the western outskirts of the Syrian city of al-Bab, held by so-called Islamic State (IS), reports say. They have been fighting to take the city, about 30km (20 miles) south of Turkey, from IS since late 2016. Ten Turkish soldiers have been killed since Wednesday in the fighting. It is part of a broader offensive by Turkey to push IS and Kurdish fighters away from Turkey’s southern border. Syrian forces meanwhile have closed in on al-Bab from the south, where there is reported to be…

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Syria war: Russian ‘friendly fire’ kills Turkish soldiers

President Vladimir Putin has sent condolences after a Russian air strike accidentally killed three Turkish soldiers in northern Syria. The strike hit a building near the town of al-Bab, believing it to contain Islamic State (IS) fighters rather than Turkish troops, Turkey’s military said. Eleven others were wounded in the so-called friendly fire incident. They were supporting Syrian rebels who are locked in a fierce battle to try to capture al-Bab from IS fighters. Russia and Turkey, who back opposing sides in the Syrian war, have been jointly conducting air…

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Aleppo Syria battle: Evacuation of rebel-held east

Nearly 1,000 civilians and 26 wounded people have been evacuated in buses and ambulances from a besieged rebel-held enclave in the Syrian city of Aleppo. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it expects this number to double by the end of the day. Government forces, backed by Russian allies, took nearly all remaining rebel-held parts of Aleppo this week after a four-year battle. It represents a major victory for President Bashar al-Assad. The evacuation of civilians, rebels and their families had been due to take place on…

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