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Turkey-backed FSA launches the operation to liberate Al-Bab

Free Syrian Army arrives within two kilometers of ISIS-controlled Al-Bab district

Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters have launched a new phase in Operation Euphrates Shield to liberate Aleppo's northeastern district of Al-Bab.


According to Anadolu Agency correspondents at the scene, the FSA arrived within two kilometers (1.4 miles) of Al-Bab late on Saturday.


FSA forces also took control of six villages -- Hazvan, Susyan, Aldana, Kiyran, Uglan and Avlan -- and other residential areas from ISIS by 2.00 a.m. local time (1100GMT) Sunday, coming close to ISIS-controlled Al-Bab.


The move comes after terrorist organizations -- the PKK and PYD -- also approached the ISIS-held area.


Almost 1,600 square kilometers (617 square miles) of land in northern Syria have been cleared of ISIS terrorists as part of Operation Euphrates Shield so far.


FSA fighters recently took control of five villages in Mare, northwest of Al-Bab, and Manbij, east of Al-Bab.


Sunday marks the 82nd day of Operation Euphrates Shield.

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