Turkish official says more tanks, heavy equipment moved into Syria

Published 25.08.2016 20:57

A senior Turkish official told Reuters on Thursday that ten tanks and heavy construction equipment crossed the Syrian border in the morning from the Karkamış district of Turkey as part of Turkey's operation Euphrates Shield.

On Wednesday morning, elements of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) backed by Turkish air and ground support encircled the DAESH-held northern Syrian town of Jarablus in coordination with the U.S.-led coalition against DAESH, seizing control of the town late on Wednesday.

During the second day of the operation, eyewitnesses in the region said an additional nine tanks crossed into Syria from Turkey. Speaking to Reuters, a Turkish official confirmed the information and said that the number of Turkish tanks inside Syria reached 20 on Thursday morning. "The position of our tanks fluctuates. In the morning, new tanks and heavy construction equipment were sent to the area of operation and if needed, more tanks and military equipment will be sent." He added that armored personnel carriers may also be used during the operation.

Fighting continues and an explosion was heard between the Karkamış district and Jarablus, thought to be the result of mines planted by DAESH. Doğan News Agency (DHA) reported the explosion occurred at about 11:30 a.m., and smoke was seen from the border. Artillery fire was heard from the Turkish side firing into Syria.

The Turkish army launched a cross-border operation Wednesday called "Euphrates Shield" together with a U.S.-led coalition in the DAESH-held Syrian northern border-town of Jarablus to clear the area of DAESH. Ankara also intends to clear the border region from elements of the People's Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the PKK's Syrian affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD), with Turkish officials urging the militant faction to retreat east of the Euphrates River, in line with an agreement made with the U.S.

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