Rebel fighters ride in a convoy on the outskirts of the Islamic State-controlled northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria February 3, 2017. (Xinhua/REUTERS)
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations is deeply concerned about the situation faced by civilians in and around Al Bab in Syria's Aleppo province, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Friday.
Dujarric told a daily briefing that an estimated 30,000 civilians had fled Al Bab city and its surroundings since late December, and the UN and its partners are providing assistance to those who are displaced.
Dujarric said that up to 10,000 civilians remained in Al Bab city, facing increasingly difficult conditions under the control of the extremist group Islamic State (IS), including severe movement restrictions.
People who fled the violence from Islamic State-controlled northern Syrian town of al-Bab arrive in the rebel-held outskirts of the town, Syria February 3, 2017. (Xinhua/REUTERS)
Al-Bab is a strategic city for the IS, as its last bastion near the Turkish borders. Securing the southern rim of Al Bab will protect the southeastern rim of Aleppo city.
The Syrian army wrested its full control over the entire city of Aleppo since last December, poising for further military operations in the Aleppo province to drive out IS militants.
The Syrian army announced that it had captured the road connecting Aleppo with the Al-Bab as well as 32 towns during a current military campaign against the IS group in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo province.