This content is not available in your region

Turkish-backed rebels enter ISIL-held Jarablus in Syria

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
Turkish-backed rebels enter ISIL-held Jarablus in Syria

<p>Turkish tanks have been in action inside Syria, taking part in an offensive to try to drive the self-proclaimed Islamic State from the border area. </p> <p>Turkish forces crossed the border early on Wednesday working alongside Syrian rebels to push <span class="caps">ISIL</span> out of the border town of Jarablus.</p> <p>Rebel sources said the operation was also supported by US-led coalition warplanes.</p> <p>Turkey has vowed to “completely cleanse” the militants from its border after a suicide bomber believed to be linked to <span class="caps">ISIL</span> killed 54 people at a Kurdish wedding in the south east.</p> <p>Ankara also wants to prevent further gains by Kurdish militia fighters. It has been at odds with Washington which sees the group as an ally in the fight against <span class="caps">ISIL</span>.</p> <p>A rebel commander has been quoted as saying that most <span class="caps">ISIL</span> fighters in Jarablus had pulled out and some had surrendered.</p> <p>Another commander said half the town was now under the control of the Turkish-backed rebels.</p> <p>Earlier, the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party tweeted that Turkey was entering a “quagmire” in Syria and faces defeat.</p> <p>It’s the first time Turkish warplanes have struck in Syria since November.</p> <p>The start of the operations saw coalition planes take off from Turkey’s Incirlik air base.</p> <p>Turkey and the US hope that by sweeping <span class="caps">ISIL</span> from the border they can deprive the militants of a lucrative smuggling route which has helped swell their ranks with foreign fighters.</p>