Operation Euphrates Shield Update: Day 79, 2 more villages cleared of Daesh
by Daily Sabah with AA
ISTANBULNov 11, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah with AA
Nov 11, 2016 12:00 am
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has hit 92 Daesh targets and one PKK-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD) target in northern Syria, the TSK said on Thursday, while it added that Syrian opposition forces gained control of the village of Ash Shaykh Alwan in the town of al-Rai Wednesday.
Thursday's strikes were part of Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, now in its 79th day, launched in late August to clear the northern Syrian border area of terrorists.
The statement said two Daesh terrorists were "neutralized" with a bomb-laden vehicle annihilated, while four opposition fighters were killed and seven others injured during Wednesday's clashes.
In total, 36 mines and 1,489 improvised explosives have been defused since the start of the operation.
Turkey-backed opposition forces have also cleared an area of more than 1,500 square kilometers (579 square miles) – including 186 residential areas – in northern Syria of Daesh terrorists.
Turkish jets not participating in airstrikes in Syria
Turkish jets have not been participating in airstrikes against terrorist organizations under the scope of Operation Euphrates Shield for the past two weeks, Anadolu Agency reported yesterday.
According to the report, the last time Turkish jets participated in airstrikes against terrorists in Syria was on Oct. 23, three days after around 200 PKK/PYD terrorists were killed.
As part of the operation, Turkey has been supporting the Free Syrian Army (FSA) against Daesh in northern Syria. The campaign has seen both Daesh and the PKK/PYD targeted by the FSA backed by Turkish tanks, artillery and aircraft.
Security sources have said that the killing of PKK/PYD terrorists have bothered the Assad Regime, whose aircraft started to lock on Turkish jets carrying out strikes after Oct. 23.
Ankara has firmly stated that the PYD's armed wing People's Protection Units (YPG) presence in northern Syria consists of a national security threat for Turkey's borders as it is linked to the PKK terrorist group.
Turkey has long argued that there are arms and logistical equipment transferred from the YPG to the PKK. The United States sees the YPG as its main partner against Daesh in Syria, while Turkey argues that both are terror groups and Washington should not pick and choose when it comes to terrorist groups.
Meanwhile, Ankara also argues that the arms support to the PYD by the U.S. is being eventually transferred into the hands of the PKK, as well as the Daesh terror group, and these arms are being used against Turkey.