Turkey launches anti-IS operation in Syria
Turkey’s army backed by international coalition air strikes on Wednesday launched an operation involving fighter jets and elite ground troops to drive Islamic State (IS) jihadists out of a key Syrian border town.
The operation, the most ambitious launched by Turkey in Syria conflict, is aimed at clearing jihadists from the town of Jarabulus, which lies opposite to the Turkish town of Karakamis, the prime minister’s office said.
The operation began around 4:00 am local time (0100 GMT) with Turkish artillery pounding dozens of IS targets around Jarabulus.
Turkish F-16 fighter jets and coalition war planes also hit targets inside Syria. Media said an unspecified number of elite Turkish special forces were already on the ground inside Syria.
Tensions had flared across the Syria-Turkey border the previous day, following rocket fire from Jarabulus which landed inside Turkey with the Turkish army firing howitzer rounds in response.
US attack helicopters to target IS in Libya
The US has begun using attack helicopters to target the Islamic State (IS) group in the jihadists’ Libyan former stronghold of Sirte, a defense official said on Wednesday. American jets have been helping fighters loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) retake Sirte, conducting dozens of strikes on IS fighting positions and equipment. As of Tuesday, the United States had conducted 77 air strikes in the city.