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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