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What's the holdup in Turkey's battle for al-Bab?

Turkey's president must be mulling over many factors influencing the stalled action in Syria.
Turkish military vehicles drive in the Syrian rebel-held town of al-Rai, as they head towards the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria January 4, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi - RTX2XITU

Turkey is in the fifth month of its Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria. The troops have completed the first two phases of the operation, which entailed clearing the Islamic State (IS) out of Jarablus and creating an IS-free zone in the 37-mile (60-kilometer) border stretch between al-Rai and Jarablus.

In those two phases, IS was ousted from 22 villages and towns between Azaz and Jarablus. The Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Turkish army now control a territory there of 722 square miles (1,870 square kilometers). Military experts agree that these phases, carried out by Turkish special forces and FSA elements, were militarily successful.

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