“Islamic State” Forces Push Back Attack on Al-Bab and Cause Turkey Huge Losses
“Islamic State” forces have successfully defended against an extensive attack launched by Free Syrian Army factions, with Turkish support, on 21 December. The losses incurred in the battles are the largest for Ankara since the start of the Euphrates Shield operation.
According to Enab Baladi’s correspondent, the attack focused on the western and northwestern axes of the city of al-Bab. The Euphrates Shield factions succeeded in taking control of Jabal Akil and the nearby al-Hikmah Hospital to enter inside neighborhoods in the city of al-Bab.
“Islamic State” forces responded to the attacks and advancement of the Free Syrian Army and the Turkish Army forces by attacking the areas of Jabal Akil and al-Hikmah Hospital with three cars filled with explosive devices.
The suicide attacks on the two sites resulted in the death of 14 Turkish soldiers and the injury of 33 others according to the Turkish Ministry of Defense. This is the largest death toll for the Turkish Army in Syria since the start of the Euphrates Shield operation in August 2016.
“Islamic State” forces regained control of Jabal Akil and the hospital during the evening of 21 December. The Syrian factions and the Turkish Army withdrew to their former locations in the outskirts of the city.
Field sources suggest that the factions will resume their attacks on the city of al-Bab in the coming hours with a focus on the northern and western fronts.