First Published: 2017-02-16

24 civilians killed in Turkish bombing on Syria town
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says dead in air strikes, shelling on Al-Bab in last 24 hours include 11 children.
Middle East Online

Turkey's army said only "terrorists" died in the operation

LONDON - Turkish bombardment of an Islamic State group-held town in Syria has killed 24 civilians, a monitor said Thursday, but Turkey's army said only "terrorists" died in the operation.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the dead in air strikes and shelling on the town of Al-Bab in the last 24 hours included 11 children.

Turkey's army, quoted by the state-run Anadolu news agency said it had killed 15 "terrorists" in air strikes, artillery fire and clashes.

Al-Bab is IS's final stronghold in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo and has come under fierce attack by Turkish forces and allied Syrian rebels in recent months.

The joint force entered Al-Bab over the weekend, and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Tuesday that the town had "largely been taken under control."

The Observatory however said Turkish forces had made little progress since entering the town from the west.

Turkey began military operations in Syria in August, targeting both IS and Kurdish fighters.

Initially its forces advanced quickly, but they stalled around Al-Bab in December.

The town is also a key target for Syrian government forces, who had been advancing towards from the south.

But they have yet to enter Al-Bab, instead focused on clearing IS-held territory in the surrounding countryside in recent days.

More than 310,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.

The war has displaced over half the country's population and drawn in jihadists and international militaries.

 

Iraq forces look to build floating bridge in Mosul

Erdogan ‘not welcome’ to campaign in Austria

Israel bombs Gaza after rocket attack

Ailing Bouteflika 'doing well' despite health scare

Film on Syria's White Helmets wins Academy Award

Libya PM to visit Moscow seeking better ties

Conditions in Libya driving migration to Europe

Is Jordan signalling a shift in its Syria strategy?

11 killed in Syria regime raids

Polisario dismisses Rabat pullback from contested zone

Israeli checkpoint guards shoot Palestinian woman

Saudi Aramco to invest $7 billion in Malaysia oil refinery

Referendum set to be tight race for Turkey’s Erdogan

Cyber attacks in Gulf countries on the rise

Iraqi forces reach key Mosul bridge

UN urges negotiating Syria rivals to avoid insults

EU border agency says migrant rescues encourage traffickers

Israeli officials brace for Gaza war report

Key Egyptian legislator says poverty more dangerous than terrorism

UN chief says disregard for rights 'spreading'

GCC geopolitics spike military sales at IDEX

ISIS has brought Saudi Arabia and the United States closer

Morocco to withdraw from Western Sahara tension zone

Shia leadership struggle ahead after Khamenei and Sistani

The huge risks of Trump’s call to ‘take’ Iraqi oil

Trump set to zero in on Hezbollah in bid to curb Iran

Time bomb of unemployment among Arab youth

Push on IS capital Raqqa gathers momentum

Woman journalist says targeted by hardliners in Sudan

Iran's Ahmadinejad writes open letter to Trump

Iran's Rouhani to run for re-election

Kurdish reporter killed while covering Mosul battle

Libya govt secures ceasefire after Tripoli clashes

Boosting presidental powers will 'stabilise' Turkey, says PM

Saudi Foreign Minister in landmark visit to Iraq

Iraqi forces push deeper into west Mosul

Suicide attacks kill 42 in Syria's Homs

Top US commander in secret Syria trip

Israel to deny Human Rights Watch visas for being ‘biased’

UN considers Syria sanctions over chemical attacks

Saudi Comic-Con slammed as ‘sin’ in online backlash

Jordanians protest government price hikes

Baghdad coordinated anti-IS airstrikes with Damascus says source

New Hamas Gaza leader makes first public appearance

Palestinian protestors clash with Israeli soldiers in West Bank