Rebel fighters gather around a pick-up truck carrying food on the outskirts of the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria February 8, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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Syrian rebels backed by the Turkish military have captured the outskirts of the Daesh- (ISIS) held city of Al-Bab in northern Syria, the Turkish government and rebel sources said Wednesday.Syrian government forces have also advanced on Al-Bab from the south, bringing them into close proximity with their Turkish and rebel enemies in one of the most complex battlefields of the 6-year-old conflict.Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said clashes with the Syrian forces had been avoided.The Syrian army advance toward Al-Bab is aimed at preventing deeper Turkish advances and safeguarding the city of Aleppo, 50 kilometers to the southwest.Sources in Erdogan's office said the president had urged the U.S. not to support the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, and that new CIA Director Mike Pompeo would be in Turkey Thursday to discuss that and other issues with Turkish counterparts.
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