December 12, 2016 / 7:50 PM / 7 months ago

Preparations for final operation on Syria's al-Bab under way - Turkish deputy PM

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Syrians walk over rubble of damaged buildings, while carrying their belongings, as they flee clashes between government forces and rebels in Tariq al-Bab and al-Sakhour neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo towards other rebel held besieged areas of Aleppo, Syria November 28, 2016.Abdalrhman Ismail

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Preparations are under way for a final operation by Turkish-backed rebels on the Islamic State-controlled city of al-Bab in northern Syria, Turkish deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday.

Speaking at a news conference after a cabinet meeting, Kurtulmus also said humanitarian aid shipments to Syria's Aleppo city should not depend on the establishment of a ceasefire and called on the international community to help set up an aid convoy.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; editing by Andrew Roche

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