Turkish tanks roll into Syria in anti-ISIL offensive

Turkish tanks backed by fighter jets and special forces rolled into Syria on Wednesday (August 24th) in an operation to drive the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) out of a key Syrian border town, AFP reported.

The air and ground offensive, also involving Syrian fighters, is aimed at clearing ISIL fighters from the town of Jarabulus, directly opposite Turkey.

Syrian fighters said Wednesday that they seized full control of the town, and that ISIL fighters fled toward al-Bab.

Operation "Euphrates Shield" began at around 4 a.m., with Turkish artillery pounding dozens of ISIL targets around Jarabulus, the Turkish prime minister's office said.

Turkish F-16 fighter jets, backed by coalition war planes, also hit targets inside Syria.

Turkish state media said the operation rapidly notched up its first success with the Syrian fighters taking from ISIL the village of Keklijah, five kilometres west of Jarabulus.

A dozen ISIL targets were destroyed in Wednesday's air strikes. Turkish artillery meanwhile destroyed 70 ISIL targets, according to Turkish television.

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