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As risk rises, will Turkey persist in quest for al-Bab?

The Turkish army, which so far has avoided actively fighting in Syria, now faces increasing danger as it advances to al-Bab.
A Turkish tank drives near Guzhe village, northern Aleppo countryside, Syria October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi - RTX2P87C
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The Turkish army's greatest fear in Syria has come to pass. On Nov. 29, Islamic State (IS) militants who were attacking a Turkish special forces detachment near al-Dana village, about 3 kilometers (less than 2 miles) northwest of al-Bab, abducted two Turkish noncommissioned officers (NCOs) and their Turkmen translator. IS-affiliated news sites were the first to report the incident.

That evening, the official website of the Turkish General Staff acknowledged search operations were underway. By that time, special forces NCOs Muhammed Duran Keskin, Kivanc Kasikci and their translator had already been moved to the IS bastion of Raqqa.

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