Thursday, November 17, 2016

Coalition not backing Turkish "move" on al-Bab, says US

The U.S.-led international coalition battling to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is not backing a drive by Turkish forces and Ankara-backed Syrian rebels to retake the jihadist stronghold of al-Bab in northern Syrian, the Pentagon said on Nov. 16.

Their offensive on the city of Al-Bab is not being supported by coalition air strikes because it was “independently” launched by Turkey, said U.S. Colonel John Dorrian, a spokesman for the coalition fighting the jihadist group in Syria and Iraq.

“That’s a national decision that they have made,” Dorrian said, speaking from Baghdad in a videoconference with reporters, AFP reported.

The U.S. military spokesman said the United States had withdrawn some special forces soldiers who had been deployed to support the Turkish forces and their allies.

“They are not a part of the advance in al-Bab,” he said.


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