Turkish troops, supporting Syrian rebels have defeated ISIS throughout the entirety of the Turkey/Syria border. The action, which started on August 24th, has effectively sealed ISIS off from the outside world. In less than 2 weeks, the Turkey military has been able to make huge in roads against ISIS, because they have committed to their actions, something president Obama hasn’t done.
Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels have cleared the area between the northern Syrian border towns of Azaz and Jarablus, Turkey’s prime minister, Binali Yildirim, said.
“From Azaz to Jarablus, 91 kilometers (57 miles) of our border has been completely secured. All the terrorist organizations are pushed back, they are gone,” Yildirim said, speaking at a dinner with non-government organizations in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.
The FSA’s advance shut down key supply lines used by ISIS to bring in foreign fighters, weapons and ammunition.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has confirmed the claims by Turkey and the FSA, they said IS “has lost its link with the outside world after losing all border areas” with Turkey. It said the last two border villages that IS held were Mizab and Qadi Jarablus, which were taken Sunday afternoon.
ISIS has controlled the border since 2014 and has used it to bring foreign fighters and equipment into the caliphate.
Turkey’s armed forces released a statement, saying – “the Jarablus-Azaz line has been connected.” Turkey has long pushed for a safe zone in Syria between these two towns, with a plan to house Syrian refugees there. An idea that the United States has been toying with for a year or more.
Turkey has launched two incursions into Syria since Aug. 24 in an operation designed to drive IS away from the border and prevent the advance of U.S.-backed Kurdish forces, which are also battling the extremist group.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Sunday spoke about his country’s intervention in Syria, “We are there to protect our borders, ensure the safety of our citizens’ lives and property, and to protect the territorial integrity of Syria.”
In an emailed press statement, Turkey’s military said the FSA have taken 20 villages from IS, adding that the Turkish army struck 83 Islamic State group targets. Since the Turkish operation began on Aug. 24, the army says it has hit 383 targets with 1,599 rounds.