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Iran Press TV

Syrian forces purge Daesh militants from areas near Aleppo: Report

Iran Press TV

Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:13PM

Syrian government forces and their allied fighters have reportedly managed to clear the Daesh Takfiri terrorists from a number of villages in the northeast of the recently liberated city of Aleppo over the past few days.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday that the recent advances had brought the Syrian army troops to within eight kilometers of the town of al-Bab, which is still held by the Daesh militants.

Al-Bab has a strategic location as it lies some 40 kilometers northeast of Aleppo and 30 kilometers south of the Turkish border.

Clashes rage on in and around al-Bab, where the pro-Damascus forces, backed by Russia's air cover, are fighting against Daesh and militants sponsored by Turkey, the United States and its regional allies.

The Syrian town is also the frontline of an offensive by Turkish ground and air forces in Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Syria operation, which was launched in August last year, was aimed at "terror groups" such as Daesh and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a US-backed Kurdish group based in Syria. However, Damascus denounced the intervention as a breach of its sovereignty.

On Tuesday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told the state-run Anadolu news agency that his country would not hand over al-Bab to the Syrian forces after the Turkish operation is over there.

Militant infighting reported in NW Syria

In another development, the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorist group, formerly known as the Nusra Front, attacked positions held by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) militant outfit in northwestern Syria, accusing it of conspiring against the Takfiri group at the latest round of Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan.

Unnamed officials with two FSA factions confirmed that some of the areas in the west of Aleppo were overrun by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militants.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-backed Ahrar al-Sham terrorist group clashed with a faction affiliated with Jabhat Fatah al-Sham in a dozen locations. Ahrar al-Sham accused the rival militant group of igniting the infighting.

The developments come as a cessation of hostilities, which exclude Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorist groups, has been largely holding across Syria since December 30.

Organized by Iran, Russia, and Turkey, the Syria peace talks wrapped up with the three countries agreeing on the establishment of a mechanism to support the nationwide Syria truce and monitor possible violations.

They also reached a consensus to take joint action against extremist groups operating in Syria and revive peace talks aimed at ending the nearly six-year-old conflict gripping the Arab country.

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