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Turkey’s Army Chief: Northern Syria Military Advance Achieved Targets | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Smoke rises from al-Bab city, northern Aleppo province, Syria October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria launched six months ago has achieved its planned targets following the seizure of the Syrian town of al-Bab, the head of Turkey’s chief of staff, Hulusi Akar, said on Friday, according to Reuters.

“With al-Bab under control, the targets planned at the start of the operation have been achieved. In the aftermath, support will be provided to normalize life and for the local people to quickly return to their homes,” Akar said.

The ‘Euphrates Shield’ operation has been conducted with caution due to the unconventional nature of the conflict, Akar told troops in a speech during a visit to the Turkish border provinces of Gaziantep and Kilis. The fight has often involved car bombs, suicide attacks and snipers.

On the other hand, the United States and Russia need to enhance communication to avoid accidents in the skiesover Syria because air space is shrinking as terror group ISIS loses more territory, a top U.S. Air Force general said on Friday.

Air Force General Herbert Carlisle called for greater communication, but stopping short of coordination, with Russia over Syria through a channel that Moscow and Washington already have for avoiding each other.

In 2015, they agreed to create a ground communication link and outline steps their pilots could take to avoid an inadvertent clash over Syria.

“It is going to become more and more complex as time goes on and as we continue to squeeze ISIS and take continually more territory away from them it becomes even more complex,” Carlisle told reporters.