Why does the capture of Syria's Al-Bab matter?

Why does the capture of Syria's Al-Bab matter?The Syrian town of Al-Bab was for three years a key jihadist stronghold in northern Syria, whose capture Ankara hopes will give Turkey greater influence over the postwar shape of the country. The town, whose name means “The Gate”, had an estimated prewar population of some 100,000 but was the target of an over three-month assault by Turkey and allied rebel forces which met with fierce resistance. On Thursday, pro-Ankara rebels said they had fully captured the city while Turkey said near complete control had been imposed, with lingering jihadists still needing to be flushed out.



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