US, Turkey Airstrikes Kill 20 ISIS Fighters in Northern Syria

Attacks Targeted Four Different Areas Along Turkey's New Frontier

by Jason Ditz, October 18, 2016

US and Turkish warplanes have attacked multiple ISIS targets around northern Syria, aiming to soften ISIS defensive positions along the frontier between remaining ISIS territory and the territory captured during the Turkish invasion of Syria.

Turkish officials reported the details of the strikes, saying 11 attacks were carried out against four different regions, destroying two ISIS defensive positions and also destroying three vehicles. They reported 20 people killed, identifying all as “ISIS fighters.”

Turkey invaded Syria in late August, capturing the city of Jarabulus. Since then, they’ve occupied some 1,240 square kilometers, controlling territory spanning the border between Jarabulus and Azaz. The territory is nominally under control of Turkish-backed rebels, though their ability to hold it seems to depend largely on Turkish tanks backing them up.

The US endorsed the Turkish invaison, but this is one of the first times that high-profile airstrikes against ISIS targets inside Syria seemed so explicitly centered around supporting the Turkish military operations.

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