Militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) evacuated their headquarters in the city of al-Bab in Syria’s Aleppo province on Thursday, activists reported.
“Dozens of ISIS military vehicles have left al-Bab carrying weapons and militants. They headed to the nearby town of Khafsa east of al-Bab city,” local media activist Nasim Babi told ARA News.
Informed sources in al-Bab reported that major ISIS headquarters in the city were seen empty on Thursday.
The evacuated ISIS headquarters in al-Bab included the Sharia Court, al-Hisba police department, jihadi training camps and weapons’ storage centres.
This comes as the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued their advance towards the al-Bab city in northern Aleppo. Also, the Turkish-backed rebels of the Euphrates Shield Brigades announced readiness to fight ISIS in al-Bab and other areas in northern Syria.
“ISIS has been under heavy pressure in al-Bab. The decision of evacuating their headquarters comes after the SDF forces made further advance towards the key city after retaking Manbij from the radical group,” SDF officer Habun Osman told ARA News.
In the meantime, activists said that clashes may erupt between the SDF and Turkish-backed rebels if both forces tried to storm the city of al-Bab after ISIS departure. Sporadic clashes took place earlier in August between Turkey-backed armed forces and Kurdish-led SDF troops near Jarablus city in northern Syria.
Al-Bab city has been under ISIS control since 14 October, 2014.