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Turkish deputy PM says final operation to take over Syria’s al-Bab under way

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and the government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus delivers a speech during a press conference following the cabinet meeting in Ankara, Turkey on December 12, 2016.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on Monday that preparations for a final operation by Turkish-backed rebels to take over the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-controlled city of al-Bab in northern Syria are under way.

Talking to journalists following a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Kurtulmuş said Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters surrounded the city of al-Bab and that they are ready to make the final move to take over.

He also added humanitarian aid shipments to the Syrian city of Aleppo should not depend on the establishment of a cease-fire and called on the international community to help set up an aid convoy.

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