Coalition Forces Kill 23 IS Militants In Syria

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Damascus: At least 23 Daesh militants have been killed by Turkish artillery fire and US airstrikes in northern Syria, a Turkish broadcaster claims.

As many as 33 targets were hit in the joint operation, which was carried out against militants preparing for an attack on Turkey, Haberturk reported on Monday.

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Cross-border artillery fire by Turkish troops destroyed at least six weapon caches and one armed vehicle, it said.

The Turkish military has repeatedly targeted northern Syria with artillery shells, guided missiles and mortars to hit militants who, Ankara says, have fired rockets at southern Turkish border towns. There have also been reports of operations by Turkey’s special forces inside the Syrian territory.

Turkey has also hinted at establishing a safe zone in the 98-kilometer (60-mile) stretch between Manbij in Aleppo Province and the Turkish border, prompting objections from Iran and Russia.

The US has supported the plan, describing it as part of a deepening campaign by the Turkish army to push Daesh away from a vital 60-mile stretch of the Turkey-Syria border that serves as the group’s main lifeline.

Turkey and the US, however, do not see eye to eye on Washington’s support for Kurdish militants in northern Syria.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said last week Turkey would not allow cooperation with terrorist organizations in Syria, referring to Kurdish groups which the US supports.

Turkey says the fighters are a terrorist organization affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), but the US sees them as a partner in Syria operations.

In a speech to his ruling AK Party in parliament last Tuesday, Yildirim said Turkey won’t allow formation of new states in Syria, echoing suspicion that the Kurdish campaign was aimed at establishing a separate state.

AP

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