Fresh off of yesterday’s border clashes with ISIS, Turkey has announced yet more fighting at the border, and for the first time in their ongoing war against the Islamists, have carried out multiple airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria.
All told, 14 ISIS fighters were reported killed, with nine slain in Turkish airstrikes, and another five in cross-border exchanges of fire that began on Thursday and continued into early Friday. The Turkish soldier reported killed yesterday is still the only confirmed fatality on their side.
This is the first major exchange between Turkey and ISIS during the months of the two sharing a huge common border. Turkey has been scrambling to shore up the defenses at that border now, and seems to be shifting quickly into a war-time footing.
Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu, commenting on the strikes, insisted that today’s airstrikes are just the beginning of a broader “process” against ISIS. Yesterday, Turkey also announced it will host US warplanes for airstrikes against ISIS, showing they are transitioning dramatically against them after a long period of ambivalence, during which Turkey was the route of choice for ISIS recruits to enter the caliphate.
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