Turkish-backed Syrian rebels 'seize Al Bab' from ISIL

Opposition fighters backing Turkish troops gather on a road as smoke billows following an air strike on an Daesh group position on February 21, 2017, in the Syrian town of al-Bab.

The town is just 25 kilometres south of Turkish border that was the last IS stronghold in northern Syrian province of Aleppo.

The Daesh took over Al Bab in 2013 as it spread throughout Syria amid the country's ongoing civil war.

However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group tracking developments in Syria's conflict, said that more than half of Al Bab was still under ISIL control, and that battles continued.

The Turkish offensive on Al-Bab is part of Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, which started in northern Syria on August 24, 2016.

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Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency said the rebels had seized control of the centre of al-Bab and were now clearing mines and explosive devices laid by the jihadists.

The operation was dubbed the Euphrates Shield.

"There has been cleaning up of the last remaining areas of (IS) control, and there were street battles", Zakaria Malahifji of the Fastaqim faction told Reuters.

The president has indicated they want to move east to Manbij, where Kurdish-dominated forces ousted Daesh past year, and made very clear to Washington that Ankara does not expect to find Kurdish militia in the town.

At least 44 members of the Islamic State terror organisation and a Turkish soldier were killed on Tuesday in clashes in northern Syria, according to a Turkish army statement.