Turkey Sends More Tanks to Syria, Warns Kurdish Militia

Turkey on Tuesday sent more tanks into Syria and sternly warned a Kurdish militia to withdraw from frontline positions.

The tanks joined those which crossed the frontier on Wednesday in the so-called Operation Euphrates Shield, which Turkey says aims at ridding the northern Syrian border area of both ISIL extremists and Kurdish militia.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that the offensive had expelled ISIL from the Syrian town of Jarabulus, and pro-Ankara gunmen reported the terrorists had retreated south to the town of Al-Bab.

But Defense Minister Fikri Isik warned the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia — who also had designs on Jarabulus — to move back east across the Euphrates or also face intervention from Turkey.

The new contingent of tanks roared across a dirt road west of the Turkish border town of Karkamis, throwing up a cloud of dust in their wake before crossing the border, an AFP photographer said.

They were then followed by around 10 armored vehicles.

The operation, the most ambitious launched by Turkey during the five-and-a-half-year Syria conflict, has seen Turkish special forces deployed on the ground and jet fighters striking ISIL targets.

They are supporting a ground offensive by hundreds of Syrian militants who on Wednesday marched into Jarabulus and a neighboring village after meeting little resistance.