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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

On the ground: Operation 'Euphrates Shield' kicks into high gear

Turkey's army backed by international coalition air strikes on Wednesday launched an operation involving fighter jets and tanks to drive Islamic State jihadists out of a key Syrian border town.

The air and ground operation, the most ambitious launched by Turkey in the Syria conflict, is aimed at clearing jihadists from the town of Jarabulus, which lies directly opposite the Turkish town of Karkamis, the prime minister's office said.

The operation -- named "Euphrates Shield" -- began around 4:00 am local time (0100 GMT) with Turkish artillery pounding dozens of IS targets around Jarabulus.

Turkish F-16 fighter jets and coalition war planes also hit targets inside Syria while an AFP photographer then saw around a dozen Turkish tanks cross into Syria to support the operation. READ MORE