World Bulletin / News Desk
The Free Syrian Army (FSA), backed by the Turkish military, celebrated on the streets of Al-Bab on Thursday after taking control of the strategic town from ISIL.
Earlier in the day, FSA commander Ahmed al-Shahabi told Anadolu Agency: "The center of Al-Bab is now under opposition control."
Later, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik also confirmed the liberation of the town saying: “Almost all of Al-Bab is under control now, and a sweep operation is ongoing."
FSA fighters gathered in the town to celebrate the victory, firing into the air and saying prayers.
"Terrorist organizations will be cleared from Syria as well. Our country will soon be free," Ahmad Ali, an FSA field commander, told Anadolu Agency.
Sharef Akel, a civilian resident, told Anadolu Agency some Al-Bab families had started returning to their homes.
"Fortunately, our town was cleared of terror organizations. The conflict is over and we are relieved," Akel said.
Anadolu Agency teams witnessed celebrations by opposition units amid destroyed homes in Al-Bab.
The Turkish-led Operation Euphrates Shield aims to provide security, support U.S.-led coalition forces and eliminate the terrorist presence along Syria’s northern border with Turkey.
The operation, which began last summer, relies heavily on FSA fighters backed by Turkish artillery and air support.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Şubat 2017, 08:46