İlknur Şebnem Öztemel – TDO –Turkish Military announced that Free Syrian Army (FSA) supported by Turkish armed forces seized strategically important hills of al-Bab which is controlled by Deash.
It has been stated that 58 Deash militants were killed in air strikes, artillery fire and clashes, two Turkish soldiers were martyred and 15 others were wounded.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoglu said the operations had made important progress and the next target would be the Syrian city of Raqqa. He said in a press conference as “The al-Bab operation must be completed immediately in the period ahead ... In recent days our special forces and the FSAhas made serious progress”.
Meanwhile Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Donald Trump had a phone call in last night. It has been revealed that leaders agreed to act jointly against Deash both in al-Bab and Raqqa. The White House indicated that Trump spoke about the two countries' "shared commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms" and welcomed Turkey's contributions to the fight against Deash.
Al-Bab has a strategic locationboth in the fight against Deash and PKK/PPU (YPG) militants in the region. There are PPU forces in the East, pro-Iranian and regime forces in the West. Additionally, al-Bab is located in the middle of Afrin and Jazeera cantons. It is a significant target of Euphrates Shield Operation which has been started in August 2016, regarding national security concerns.