TURKEY, September 4, 2016: Turkey says it has driven out IS fighters from their last remaining strongholds along a 100-kilometer stretch of the borderland with the help of Turkish-backed Syrian rebels under the banner of the Free Syrian Army.
Turkey’s direct military involvement in the push against IS began late last month when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — responding to a civilian massacre in Turkey’s southeast — sent warplanes, tanks, and artillery to crush terror threats on the border.
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Sunday, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said border territory stretching from Azaz northeastward to Jarablus had been cleared.
Those claims were confirmed by monitors from the Britain-based London-based Observatory for Human Rights. An Observatory statement said “IS has lost contact with the outside world after losing the remaining border villages between the Sajur river and the village of al-Rai.”
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Analysts say the rebel advance effectively cuts off key land routes used to supply the extremist movement with foreign recruits, weapons and ammunition.(VOA)