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Report: Turkish jets strike IS targets in Syria


Ankara: Turkish warplanes struck Islamic State group targets across the border in Syria early today, the country’s state-run television reported, a day after the extremist group fired at a Turkish military outpost, killing a soldier.

TRT television said four military jets took off from Diyarbakir air base in southeast Turkey and used missiles to hit at IS targets in the Syrian village of Havar. The village is across the border from the Turkish province of Kilis. TRT said the planes did not violate Syrian airspace.

The station did not cite a source for the report and there was no official confirmation of the airstrikes.

Private NTV television said at least three loud explosions could be heard from Kilis.

Yesterday, five IS militants fired from Syrian territory at a Turkish military outpost, killing one soldier and prompting Turkish retaliation that killed at least one IS militant.

The operation also comes a day after US officials said Turkey had agreed to allow the US access to a key Turkish air base for use against the extremist group.

Earlier in the week, a suicide bombing blamed on IS militants killed 32 people in southeastern Turkey, near the Syrian border.

Turkish officials have raised concerns that the bombing was part of a campaign of retaliation for Turkey’s recent crackdown on IS operations in the country. In the last six months, Turkish officials say, more than 500 people suspected of working with IS have been detained.

Hurriyet newspaper said the Turkish F-16s struck three targets close to the Turkish border, including two locations that the extremist group reportedly used as headquarters. The newspaper said the aerial operation was in retaliation for the IS attack a day earlier and was named “Operation Yalcin” in honor of the non-commissioned officer who was killed in that attack.

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