350 Turkish soldiers taking part in ‘Euphrates Shield’ op, CNN Türk reports
AA photoA total of 350 soldiers from the Turkish Armed Forces are taking part in the “Euphrates Shield” operation launched on Aug. 24 to back Syrian rebels’ bid to clear the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from territories bordering Turkey, CNN Türk reported on Aug. 25.
Some 200 soldiers from mechanized units and 150 Special Forces soldiers are involved in the operation, which is still ongoing after it secured its first aim of liberating the Syrian town of Jarablus from ISIL, some 14 hours after the operation began.
The ground forces are supported by intense air operations by the international anti-ISIL coalition forces.
After the capture of Jarablus, Syrian rebels reportedly carried out careful explorations of the town to clear mines and explosive traps set up by ISIL militants before their retreat.
Regarding recent that additional Turkish tanks had entered Syrian territory on Aug. 25, CNN Türk reported that the tanks had only entered up to two kilometers inside Syria before returning to Turkish territory, with the aim of maintaining border security.
Along with the coalition air support, 17 Turkish planes are reportedly taking part in the operation, including 11 F-16s, two F-16s, a tanker aircraft for the jets’ fuel delivery, one AWACS, and two rescue planes.
It remains unclear when the operation is set to be completed.