Turkish-backed forces closing in on Syria's al-Bab: Erdogan

November 6, 2016 7:42 AM EST

An armoured military vehicle drives past a wall along the border between Turkey and Syria, near the southeastern village of Besarslan, in Hatay province, Turkey, November 1, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas


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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish-backed forces in northern Syria aim to push Islamic State militants further south from al-Bab and are currently 12 or 13 km (8 miles) from the town, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.

Turkey launched an incursion into Syria in August in support of largely Turkmen and Arab rebel fighters to try to drive Islamic State away from its border and prevent Kurdish militia groups from seizing ground in their wake.

Erdogan also said the European Union had promised Turkey 3 billion euros in aid for the Syrian migrants it is sheltering, but that only 200-300 million euros had so far arrived.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Nick Tattersall)



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