On August 24, Turkish military, accompanied with some 1,500 Turkish-backed militants from the Free Syrian Army, launched a military operation to liberate the strategic city of Jarablus in northeastern Syria.
According to Turkish authorities, the operation is also supported by the US-led coalition air power. Since August 24 morning, the Turkish army’s artillery has hit ISIS targets near the city over 250 times and Turksih warplanes have doncuted at least 4 air strikes.
The military advance began at around 4 a.m. local time with Turkish special forces crossed the Syrian border. Turkish battle tanks have also arrived at the Syrian border and started firing at targets in Syria.
First footage of the Turkish-led operation in Jarablus against ISIS pic.twitter.com/Y8GXfdEQF0
— Hassan Hassan (@hxhassan) August 24, 2016
Turkish media outlets report that additional armored vehicles are expected to arrive the border shortly.
Air raids footage:
— ARnews 1936 (@ARnews1936) August 24, 2016
The full-scale ground operation is to start yet. (Find more about the Turkish military capabilities along the Syrian-Turkish border here)
In case of the success, the Turkish operation will undermine any hopes of the US-backed Democratic Union Party (PYD) to expand control along the Syrian-Turkish border and set a de-facto independent state in northeastern Syria.
In 2016, PYD-linked forces operated under the US-created brand, “Syrian Democratic Forces.” However, according to Ankara, the PYD is just a Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group that recognized by the Turkish government as a terrorist organization.
It’s important to note that the Turkish move followed the recent tensions between the Syrian governmnet and the PYD forces in northeastern Syria and the negotiations between Syrian and Turkish intelligence representatives.