Tuesday, February 07, 2017

February 7, 2017

Russia and Turkey have both been conducting air strikes on al-Bab 

ISIL is now surrounded by Syrian army (click here) from the south and by Turkish-backed rebels from the north, monitoring group says.

Syrian government forces have advanced on the ISIL-held city of al-Bab, cutting off the last supply route that connects it to the armed group's strongholds further east towards Iraq, according to a monitoring group.

ISIL fighters in the area are now effectively surrounded by the Syrian army from the south and by Turkish-backed rebels from the north, as Damascus and Ankara race to capture the largest stronghold of the armed group in Aleppo province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday.

The British-based war monitor, which tracks developments in Syria's conflict, added that the army and allied militia had made gains southeast of al-Bab overnight and fought ISIL there on Monday.

Backed by air strikes, they severed a road that links the city to other ISIL-held territory in Raqqa and Deir Az Zor provinces, it said.

A military commander in the alliance fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad said ISIL, which stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and is also known as ISIS, was now encircled.

"There is one narrow passage left out of al-Bab," the commander told the Reuters news agency. Government forces now had most of it "within close firing range", he said....