Over 80 ISIL targets struck in operation “Euphrates Shield”

CCTV News

Over 80 ISIL targets struck in operation Euphrates Shield

Turkish cannons have reportedly fired on Kurdish forces in northern Syria in an effort to push the group back. Turkey has also rolled more tanks into the country a day after the Turkish president announced that its operation to expel ISIL militants from a Syrian border town was a success. Syria’s foreign ministry said it’s a breach of its sovereignty.

CCTV’s Natalie Carney reports.Follow Natalie Carney on Twitter @NatalieCarney77

Over 80 ISIL targets struck in operation \"Euphrates Shield\"

Over 80 ISIL targets struck in operation \"Euphrates Shield\"

Turkish cannons have reportedly fired on Kurdish forces in northern Syria in an effort to push the group back. Turkey has also rolled more tanks into the country a day after the Turkish president announced that its operation to expel ISIL militants from a Syrian border town was a success. Syria’s foreign ministry said it’s a breach of its sovereignty.CCTV’s Natalie Carney reports.

It’s harvest season for Gaziantep’s world famous pistachios.

Yet while these men, women and children toil away, their country has just embroiled itself in the Syrian war a stone’s throw away.

“It’s good, it’s good the army went in. They are bombing us, and our citizens are dying, our citizens are scared. They are bombing our weddings. So we will attack, too,” a Turkish farmer, Mehmet Cingis, said.

Next to the pistachio tree fields, plumes of smoke billow over the hills and villages surrounding the Syrian border town of Jarabulus.

On Wednesday evening, a Turkish-backed operation with tanks, warplanes and special operation forces helped the Free Syrian Army liberate the town from the grip of ISIL militants who had occupied it since 2013.

Amateur video purportedly shows the rebels tearing down the black ISIL flags across the town, while those wounded were rushed to hospitals in Turkey. It is expected that Turkish tanks will stay in the Jarabulus area for some time to prevent any return of ISIL fighters or a possible advance by Syrian Kurdish forces.

Turkey’s first major military operation into Syria, dubbed operation “Euphrates Shield”, is aimed at securing its border from ISIL and pushing back the YPG, a Syrian Kurdish militia Ankara accuses of links to its own Kurdish separatists.

“Turkey will not tolerate any Kurdish entity at its border. We consider this a great threat to our national security,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said.

The YPG recently liberated the Syrian town of Manjib from ISIL. Yet Turkey wants them to retreat east of the Euphrates River.

According to Turkish state media, Turkish cannons fired on YPG forces moving north from Manjib on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Turkey sent as many as 20 tanks across the border while another 10 sat idle nearby waiting to be deployed. Turkish jets could also still be heard patrolling the skies above.