Turkish warplanes hit ISIL, YPG as rebels clash in northern Syria
Turkish troops head to the Syrian border in Karkamış, Turkey. AP photo
Two Turkish F-16 warplanes struck six Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets and a position of the U.S.-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria on Aug. 27, Turkish security sources told Reuters.
The strikes came as Syrian rebels backed by Turkey clashed with fighters opposed by Ankara at the village of al-Amarna, some 10 km south of the border town of Jarablus that was seized by the Turkey-backed rebels from ISIL this week.
The sources did not give further details on the air strikes.
The Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria said on Aug. 27 Turkish tanks had advanced on al-Amarna, where they clashed with the Jarablus Military Council, an ally of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance that is in turn backed by the Kurdish YPG, Reuters reported.
The administration's media office said the rebels were fighting alongside the Turkish tanks, and Kurdish forces had no role in the fighting.
The leader of one of the Turkey-backed rebel groups however told Reuters the rebels were battling the YPG on the outskirts of the village.
Ahmed Osman, leader of the Sultan Murad group, also denied any Turkish tanks were taking part in storming the area.
The Turkish Armed Forces are taking part in the “Euphrates Shield” operation launched on Aug. 24 to back Syrian rebels’ bid to clear ISIL from territories bordering Turkey.
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.
The ground forces and Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters are supported by intense air operations by the international anti-ISIL coalition forces.