Sporadic continued between ISIS and Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions on the northern perimeter of al-Bab city on Tuesday morning as hundreds of Syrian rebels arrived to aid the offensive, dubbed operation ‘Euphrates Shield’ by Turkey.
However, after establishing a minor foothold in the northern part of al-Bab city, the FSA is yet to advance past the Jafirah Roundabout which rebels captured on Monday evening.
Following three days of Turkish artillery and aerial bombardment, an opposition source also noted that three ISIS militants surrendered themselves to the advancing FSA groups.
As local ISIS commanders face the daunting reality of a rebel takeover of al-Bab, the Islamic State is said to have closed all the city’s public offices and laid off its employees.
Since Turkey launched operation ‘Euphrates Shield’ 84 days ago and subsequently funnelled thousands of rebels across the border, FSA factions have seized 213 villages and approximately 1,700 square kilometers from ISIS and the Syrian Democratic Forces.
Al-Bab, a predominately Arab city some 40 kilometers northeast of Aleppo, represents the last ISIS stronghold in Aleppo province and a buffer-zone into the Raqqa governorate.
Photos of the FSA reinforcements can be seen here: