Turkish-backed FSA secures three more areas in Syria

The advance comes as Turkey pushes ahead with operation Euphrates Shield across the border in Syria to clear the area of Daesh and YPG.

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

With Turkish ground and air fire support, the FSA gained control of Tuways, Al Gharz and Tlatinah south of Akhtarin in northern Syria as part of Operation Euphrates Shield. October 19, 2016

Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) has gained control of three more areas in northern Syria in the last 24 hours, the Turkish Army said on Tuesday.

The advance comes as Turkey pushes ahead with Operation Euphrates Shield, which was launched across the border in Syria on August 24. The aim of the offensive is to clear the area of the Daesh terrorist group and the YPG – the Syrian branch of the PKK, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU.

Ankara decided to go ahead with the military operation after Daesh and the PKK carried out a number of deadly attacks in different parts of the country, including in the country's southeast along the Syrian border.

People leave the territory as FSA fighters attack Daesh positions in Tueviz and Baruze villages of Mari district in Aleppo, Syria on October 24, 2016. (File photo: AA)

In the fresh offensive, Turkish howitzers shelled 72 Daesh and 15 YPG targets, Turkish military sources said.

With Turkish ground and air support, the FSA "largely secured control" over the areas of Tuways, Al Gharz and Tlatinah south of Akhtarin, the military statement said.

Five terrorists were killed and 28 wounded, the statement added.

The latest assault has widened the territory held by the Turkish-backed FSA, which has been expanding since the start of the operation. The FSA now controls 1,280 square kilometres (494 square miles).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday the Turkish-backed forces would press on to the Daesh-held town of Al-Bab, around 15 km (9 miles) from their current location.

The civil war in Syria that began in 2011 has so far killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions both internally and externally.

The Syria war also triggered the worst refugee crisis to affect Europe since World War II.


TRTWorld and agencies