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IS reinforces positions in Syria's al-Bab

The Free Syrian Army, backed by Turkish forces, is facing major difficulties in their battles against the Islamic State near al-Bab in northern Aleppo, where IS is reinforcing its positions and besieging civilians they use as human shields.
Free Syrian Army fighters help a fellow fighter, who was injured by what they said was a mine near Qabasin town, during an offensive against Islamic State fighters to take control of the town, near the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi - RTX2YO8J
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ALEPPO, Syria — Military operations are ongoing near al-Bab, northeast of Aleppo, between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions and special Turkish forces on the one hand, and the Islamic State (IS) on the other. The battles that the armed Syrian opposition is waging with Turkish air and land support in the framework of Operation Euphrates Shield that Turkey launched on Aug. 24 face major challenges against IS. The organization is defending, ever so strongly, its main stronghold in the Aleppo countryside.

Al-Monitor accompanied FSA soldiers participating in the battle and closely watched the progress of the military operation that has been faltering for many reasons.

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