Turkey sends more tanks into Syria to fight IS

Turkey sends more tanks into Syria to fight IS
Ten more Turkish tanks head across the border into Syria on Thursday, a day after pro-Ankara Syrian opposition forces ousted Islamic State militants from the town of Jarabulus.
2 min read
25 August, 2016
The tanks moved towards joining a contingent of around a dozen others [Anadolu]
At least 10 more Turkish tanks crossed into Syria on Thursday, a day after Syrian opposition forces, backed by Ankara, ousted Islamic State [IS] militants out of the town of Jarabulus near the frontier.

The tanks moved to join a contingent of around a dozen others that crossed a day earlier for Turkey's operation – dubbed Euphrates Shield – aimed at ridding the area of IS militants as well as Kurdish militia.

There were now more than 20 Turkish tanks inside Syria, according to a senior Turkish official.

Additional tanks and construction machinery would be sent in if needed, the official said.

"We need construction machinery to open up roads... and we may need more in the days ahead. We also have armoured personnel carriers that could be used on the Syrian side. We may put them into service as needed," AFP reported the senior Turkish official as saying.

The Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army [FSA] seized control of the Syrian border town of Jarabulus on Wednesday after IS militants abandoned their posts.

Video footage posted online showed FSA fighters walking through the centre of an abandoned Jarabulus after they took control of four nearby villages.

Turkish special forces accompanied by tanks, minesweepers and FSA fighters crossed into Syria at 12pm local time on Wednesday.

Turkish artillery pounded dozens of IS group targets around Jarabulus, backed by Turkish and coalition warplanes bombing the town.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasised the operation was also targeting Kurdish militia fighters strongly opposed by Ankara – but backed by the United States as a key ally against IS – who had also been closing in on Jarabulus.