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Syria: Turkey-backed rebels in 'near full control' of northern town of al Bab

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By Euronews
Syria: Turkey-backed rebels in 'near full control' of northern town of al Bab

<p>Turkish-backed rebels fighting <span class="caps">ISIL</span> have taken near full control of al-Bab in northern Syria, Turkey’s defence minister has said. </p> <p>Heavy fighting has been taking place in the battleground town, which has been under siege since November. </p> <p>Some reports, however, suggest parts of al-Bab still remain under the Islamic State militants control. </p> <p>Announcing to Turkish media that Free Syrian Army fighters were in the centre al-Bab, Turkey’s defence minister Fikri Isik said:’‘When the search and combing operations are over, we will be able to say that al-Bab has been completely cleared of its Daesh elements.This does not need too much more time”</p> <p>Since Ankara launched its Syrian offensive last August <span class="caps">ISIL</span> has been pushed back from the Turkish border. </p> <p>The potential fall of al-Bab would represent another blow for the extremist group. </p> <p>Turkey’s military operation is also seeking to limit gains by Kurdish forces to the east.</p>