Groups of the Free Syrian Army have made further advances inside the town of Albab northeast of Aleppo, capturing new positions from the ISIS extremist as part of the Turkish-backed Operation Shield of the Euphrates offensive.
The FSA fighters, supported by Turkish special forces, artillery and warplanes, advanced into Albab from the west on Wednesday after launching a three-pronged attack late Tuesday night.
As dawn was breaking on Wednesday, FSA fighters advanced within the western entrance to Albab and took control of the National Hospital, Youth Housing area, Daleel roundabout, parts of Zamzam district, and the strategic Aqeel hill overlooking the town.
Dozens of ISIS militants were reportedly killed and injured in the ongoing clashes for the strategic town.
A commander of a leading FSA group fighting ISIS said on Sunday they have captured the Shihabi Farm and Alraie Roundabout at the northern entrance of Albab. He said that battles are currently raging inside the town in an attempt by the FSA to tighten the noose on ISIS militants inside the town.
Albab, roughly 40 km northeast of Aleppo city and 30 km south of the Turkish border, is the last major ISIS stronghold in Aleppo province. It was home to about 200,000 people before it fell to ISIS in January 2014.
The FSA commander added that clashes are currently taking place between the FSA and the ISIS in the village of Qabasin to the east of Albab, with Turkish air forces and artillery pounding ISIS positions inside the village.
In August 24, 2016, FSA groups launched Operation Euphrates Shield to clear ISIS and other terrorist groups from territory south of the Turkish border with Syria with support from Turkish military forces and in coordination with the international anti-ISIS coalition. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)