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UN Says 66,000 Displaced In Northern Syria

Turkish-backed Syrian rebels walk in the northwestern border town of Al-Bab after they fully captured it from IS militants on February 23.

Around 66,000 people have been displaced in five months of fighting in and around the northern Syrian city of Al-Bab, the United Nations humanitarian agency said on March 5.

The UN's OCHA agency said that the Turkish and Syrian opposition campaign to capture Al-Bab from Islamic State (IS) militants displaced 40,000 residents. They captured the town on February 23 after a military campaign that began in November.

Another 26,000 residents have been displaced in the fighting around Manbij, which is held by Kurdish-led forces, and Al-Khafseh, controlled by IS militants. Al-Khafseh is home to the water-pumping station for Aleppo.

Turkish, Syrian government, Syrian opposition, and autonomous Kurdish-led forces have been competing for territory previously held by the IS group near the Turkish-Syrian frontier.

The UN warned that threats by IS militants remain high despite their retreat to the southeast.

More than half of Syria’s population has been forced to flee their homes after war broke out in March 2011.

Aleppo province is home to thousands of displaced Syrians, many of them residing in camps near the Turkish border.

Based on reporting by dpa, AFP, and AP