The US military in a statement published on Thursday has said it’s international coalition targeted DAESH terrorists in Syria with 24 air strikes on Wednesday.
The bombardment targeted the Mare line in northwestern Syria, opposite the Turkish border town of Kilis, the statement said.
The Mare line lies on the battlefront between DAESH and armed Syrian opposition groups. Turkey previously proposed a “safe zone” running from Mare to the Syrian border town of Jarablus to be cleared of DAESH presence and handed to the Syrian opposition.
It is also very close to the border town of Azez, which is controlled by armed Syrian opposition groups and is a vital supply line for the rebels.
The region also lies between the PYD-controlled regions of Afrin and Kobane. Syrian opposition-controlled territories in this area have come under heavy bombardment by Russian aircraft as part of Moscow’s parallel campaign against what it calls “terrorists” in Syria.
While Russian air strikes on Syrian opposition groups have allowed DAESH to move into a territory formerly controlled by the opposition in other parts of Syria’s Aleppo province, the Russian air strikes near Azez have also allowed the PYD to make gains.
The PYD, an affiliate of the southeastern Turkey-based PKK terrorist group, hopes to eventually establish its Marxist-Leninist ideology in predominantly Kurdish areas across northern Syria, including the region designated by Turkey as a future “safe zone.”
Turkey has warned the PYD not to expand its territory west of the Euphrates River, and has been involved in sporadic cross-border clashes with PKK-affiliated militants after the PKK ended a two-year ceasefire with the Turkish government in early July.
Since the attack by a DAESH suicide bomber in the Turkish border town of Suruc on July 20, Turkey has also been increasing its cooperation with the US-led coalition against DAESH, allowing US fighter jets to take off from its Incirlik Military Air Base in Malatya.
Meanwhile, US-led coalition jets carried out another nine air strikes on DAESH positions around the cities of Mosul and Ramadi in Iraq, where Iraqi government forces backed by local militias have been advancing against the terrorist group.
US-led coalition jets have increased their efforts against DAESH in the region threefold in recent weeks, especially around Iraq’s second biggest city Mosul, with as many as 90 air strikes in the past 14 days.
Ramadi was finally recaptured on Monday, the fall of which in May was considered a strategic failure for both the Iraqi Army and the US-led coalition battling the terrorist group.
Mosul, however, which was captured by DAESH in the summer of 2014, remains under DAESH control.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al Abadi has vowed that 2016 would be the year of “final victory” against DAESH in Iraq, saying Mosul is the next target for the Iraqi Army after Ramadi.