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Al-Bab 'largely taken' from IS, says Turkish PM
16 February 2017, 01:06 | Clarence Schmidt
One Turkish soldier killed, four others injured in Syria's al-Bab
The Turkish army launched an ambitious campaign inside Syria on 24 August, codenamed Euphrates Shield, to rid its border from IS militants and stop the advance of Kurdish militia. They also agreed to expand military coordination during the operation against militants from Daesh and other extremist groups in Syria. In a written statement issued on February 15, the Turkish General Staff said that at around 09:10 a.m. (06:10 a.m. GMT) on February 15, a bomb-laden vehicle along with around eight to 10 ISIL militants tried to attack a temporary base belonging to the Turkish forces positioned in the south of the northern Syrian town of al-Bab.
The Turkish Army and Turkey-backed rebels of the Euphrates Shield have been bombing Tel Rifaat since Tuesday.
"The organisation [Daesh] still controls most of Al Bab", it added.
The statement came as Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper reported that rebel forces and those of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have created a security corridor to avoid clashes around al-Bab. "The chiefs of the [Russian and Turkish] general staffs agreed to closer coordinate joint actions and exchange information about the situation on the ground".
"Al-Bab has largely been taken under control".
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Fearful of a PKK (outlawed Kurdish group in Turkey) safe-haven in northern Syria, the Turkish Army has shifted their attention to the YPG and SDF controlled towns in the Al-Raqqa, Aleppo, and Al-Hasakah governorates.
The news comes as the Turkish military operation in Syria's al-Bab has entered the final stage.
"Daesh forces have begun leaving Al-Bab completely", he said, using an Arabic acronym for IS.
8 terrorists were neutralized in Syrian Al-Bab during Daesh vehicle bomb attack to temporary camp of the Free Syrian Army, opposing Assad regime. Al-Bab is one of Daeshs last remaining strongholds near the Turkish border.
AAA: Gas prices to remain steady until spring
U.S crude oil production is forecast to average 9 million barrels per day in 2017 and 9.5 million barrels per day in 2018. WTI crude closed at $53.86 on the NYMEX on Friday, up only 3 cents from last week's close, but $12.89 above one year ago.