Islamic State driven from border town … now Turkey wants Kurds out, too

Rebel forces have taken back the Islamic State-held Syrian border town of Jarabulus after Turkish troops crossed the border to assist them. They have taken over “government and official residences,” and IS “has been forced to leave Jarabulus”, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. The rebels, “together with those who are from Jarabulus, have now taken it back,” he said. Turkey, which sent tanks across the border into Syria to assist the operation is now sending more troops into the region as it seeks to drive back Kurdish rebels, too.

I think the Turks are prepared to stay in an effort to take out ISIL as long as it takes. I think there has been a gradual mind shift … in Turkey, with the realization that ISIL is an existential threat to Turkey

US vice-president Joe Biden

It took about 12 hours before the Free Syria rebels, who were also backed by US-led coalition fighter planes, re-entered Jarabulus. Several dozen IS fighters were reported to have been killed in the push, dubbed Operation Euphrates Shield. On Thursday, Turkey sent more tanks into the region as it demanded the Kurdish YPG militia retreat as well. It says the YPG, seen by the US as a key ally in the battle against IS, as supporters of the Kurdish separatist fighters it is battling in its own country.

Islamic State should be completely cleansed, this is an absolute must. But it’s not enough for us. The … YPG militia should not replace Islamic State there

Defence minister Fikri Isik