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Monday, September 5, 2016

A Huge Blow for Islamic State on Syrian-Turkish Border

BEIRUT (AP) — Turkish troops and allied Syrian rebels expelled the Islamic State group from the last strip of territory it controlled along the Syrian-Turkish border on Sunday, effectively sealing the extremists’ self-styled caliphate off from the outside world, Turkey’s prime minister and a Syrian opposition group reported.

Also on Sunday, Syrian pro-government forces backed by airstrikes launched a wide offensive in the northern city of Aleppo, capturing areas they lost last month and besieging rebel-held neighborhoods, state media and opposition activists said.
Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army rebels have cleared the area between the northern Syrian border towns of Azaz and Jarablus, Turkey’s prime minister, Binali Yildirim, said.
“From Azaz to Jarablus, 91 kilometers (57 miles) of our border has been completely secured. All the terrorist organizations are pushed back, they are gone,” Yildirim said, speaking at a dinner with non-government organizations in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.
The FSA’s advance shut down key supply lines used by IS to bring in foreign fighters, weapons and ammunition.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said IS “has lost its link with the outside world after losing all border areas” with Turkey. It said the last two border villages that IS held were Mizab and Qadi Jarablus, which were taken Sunday afternoon. READ MORE