In the morning on December 21, intense clashes between ISIS and Turkey-led forces resumed in the area of al-Bab (more about the importance of al-Bab here). Pro-Turkey militant groups and the Turkish army, supported by the Turkish Air Force, attacked the town hospital and seized the Aqeel Mountain area and set a control over the Aleppo-al-Bab road. 3 Turkish soldiers were killed and 11 more wounded these clashes, according to the Turkish military.
Seizure of the al-Bab hospital, located at the top of a strategic hill in western al-Bab, allowed Turkish forces to claim that they had a fire or a direct control of about 30% of the town. Furthermore available photos showed a high number of Turkish military personnel among militants involved in the operation.
Later that day, ISIS launched a counter-attack with usage of two suicide bombers, on the hospital and took this strategic site back from Turkish forces. The terrorist group claimed that the attack caused major casualties among its enemies:
- about 50 Turkish soldiers and militants were reported killed;
- 1 battle tank and 4 vehicles destroyed.
On December 22, clashes continued in western al-Bab with pro-Turkey forces were attempting to advance against ISIS units. Heavy airstrikes and artillery strikes were rported inside the city. Nobody can count the civilian casualties in the area.
An ISIS anti-tank guided missile hits a Turkish battle tank:
Two Turkish vehicles are hit by ISIS anti-tank guided missiles: