By Aynur Ekiz
At least 30 civilians fleeing Al-Bab in northern Syria were killed by explosives planted by the Daesh terrorist group on Sunday, the Turkish military said Monday.
According to the Turkish Armed Forces’ written statement, a combination of explosives were used in the attack, including mines camouflaged with improvised explosive devices.
At least 400 to 500 iron balls to increase the effectiveness of the explosives were also used, which were then placed near the doorsteps of civilians, it said.
Moreover, Daesh had used RDX-type military grade explosives that are usually used by regular armies around the world, it added.
The terror group reportedly plans to carry out more such attacks on residential areas through such lethal devices.
The Turkish military also said Daesh was threatening civilians and telling them to stay in Al-Bab as it built several barricades on main roads and streets to prevent them from leaving the area.
Last Friday, Daesh shot and executed a civilian, Moustafa Hazzuri, for trying to escape from Al-Bab. Hazzuri's body was then displayed until Sunday night in the town square as a warning to other civilians.
As part of the ongoing Turkey-led Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, 113 Daesh targets were hit on Monday. Several shelters, command and control facilities, weapons and vehicles of the terrorist group were rendered useless in the operation, according to the Turkish army.
Bomb squads also demolished 74 improvised explosives of Daesh on Monday. Since the Operation Euphrates Shield started last August in northern Syria, 2,335 handmade explosives and 42 mines have been destroyed.
Demolishing an explosive takes three to four hours, but sometimes experts spend eight to 12 hours to deactivate more complicated explosives, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent.
The city of Al-Bab in northern Syria is currently completely surrounded by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) backed by Turkish Armed Forces, according to Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak.
The operation in al-Bab is part of the Turkey-led Operation Euphrates Shield which began in late August to improve security, support coalition forces, and eliminate the terror threat along Turkey’s border using FSA fighters backed by Turkish artillery and jets. Monday marks the 125th day of the Operation Euphrates Shield.