Turkish airstrikes target ISIL in Syria

Istanbul, July 24 () - Turkey carried out airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets in Syria for 13 minutes early July 24, destroying two ISIL headquarters and one rallying point with guided missiles.

Three Turkish F-16 fighter jets took off from the Diyarbakır 8th Main Jet Base at 3:12 a.m. and hit two ISIL headquarters and one rallying point inside Syria with guided missiles from 3:40 a.m. to 3:53 a.m., Turkish Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.

The operation was named after Yalçın Nane, a non-commissioned military officer who was killed during Turkish army's first gunfight with ISIL on the border in the province of Kilis on July 23.

ISIL targets were located near the Havar village of Syria, which is across Turkey's Kilis on the border. The Turkish jets launched their missiles from Turkey, without entering the Syrian airspace, according to the statement.

The decision was taken at a special security meeting in Ankara late July 23, hours after the clash on the border.

"The state of the Republic of Turkey is decisive in taking any precaution to safeguard its national security" the official statement confirming the airstrikes said on July 24, adding that the Turkish F-16s returned to their bases at 4:24 a.m.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) had announced that five armed terrorists opened fire at a border military outpost on Syrian border on July 23 and killed one non-commissioner officer, while wounding two troops. As a result of Turkish retaliation, one ISIL terrorist was killed and three ISIL vehicles were hit.

Hours before the July 23 border clash which involved four Turkish tanks, Turkey had agreed to open its İncirlik military base to aircraft of the anti-ISIL coalition.

The new joint action consensus between Turkey and the United States, also covers a partial no-fly zone over the Turkey-Syria border.

The 90-kilometer line between Syria’s Mare and Cerablus will be 40 to 50 kilometers deep, sources told daily Hürriyet, while elaborating on the consensus outlined by Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, following a cabinet meeting on July 22.

Turkey also recently decided to beef up security on its borders with Syria by flying surveillance balloons and building a two-fenced border system with a new moat.


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