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Al-Bab shaping up as more trouble for Turkey

Islamic State fighters have dug in around al-Bab, reportedly digging trenches and preparing suicide bombers, as Turkish forces bombard their positions.
Rebel fighters gather during their advance towards the Islamic State-held city of al-Bab, northern Syria October 26, 2016. Picture taken October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi - RTX2TKNV

Turkey’s efforts to take the critical town of al-Bab with the help of its rebel proxies is running into difficulties amid reports that Islamic State militants have dug hundreds of ditches and rigged incoming routes with mines and other explosives to halt their advance.

Turkey continues to pound IS positions near the town, but progress is slow. The number of Turkish casualties are mounting, and the fate of two Turkish soldiers recently captured by IS remains a matter of intense concern.

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