Turkey says Islamic State Cleared from Syrian Border Region

Turkey says Turkish-backed rebels battling Islamic State extremists on the Syrian border have driven IS fighters from their last remaining strongholds along a 100-kilometer stretch of borderland.

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.

Sunday, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said border territory stretching from Azaz northeastward to Jarublus 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.”

Analysts say the rebel advance effectively cuts off key land routes used to supply the extremist movement with foreign recruits, weapons and ammunition.