The “Euphrates Shield” operation, which began at 4am, local time (0100 GMT), aims to expunge Turkish borders of terrorist groups, enhance border security and uphold Syria’s territorial integrity, China’s Xinhua news agency reported the statement as saying.
Preventing another influx of migrants and delivering necessary aid to the region’s civilian population are also among the operation’s goals, Turkish officials said.
The operation involved artillery fire and Turkish tanks on the ground inside Syria, officials said.
Turkey’s Special Forces entered Jarablus, a border town inside Syria, under the cover of Turkish air force and the US-led coalition, military sources told Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper.
According to military sources, 81 targets were destroyed by artillery fire and tanks stationed on Turkish soil.
At a news conference in Ankara, President Recep Erdogan confirmed the start of the “Euphrates Shield” operation.
On Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said Turkey is prepared to provide all forms of support to the Jarablus operation in order to free the town from the grip of the IS.
Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper, citing undisclosed military sources, said a ground offensive has not yet begun but efforts are underway to forge a “passageway” into the region.
SOURCES: NewsNow/Bernama News Online