The U.S. said Wednesday that U.S. jets conducted airstrikes supporting Turkish efforts to clear Daesh from Jarabulus in northern Syria.
“U.S. manned and unmanned aircraft participated in these operations near the Syria-Turkey border,” Pentagon spokesman Adrian Rankine-Galloway told Anadolu Agency in a written statement.
Galloway said the U.S.-led coalition’s airstrikes were in support of Turkey’s operation and vetted Syrian opposition forces seeking to clear Daesh from Jarabulus — a city located 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the Turkish-Syrian border.
According to Galloway, the coalition’s intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets have been regularly monitoring the border as it is “a key transit point for ISIL fighters moving back and forth between Syria and Turkey”.
The spokesman added that the coalition continued to monitor ongoing operations along the border.
Galloway said it was not up to the Pentagon to discuss the contributions of other coalition members on the ongoing Jarabulus operation.
Turkish military’s Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria was launched early Wednesday, when artillery and airstrikes were followed by Turkish tanks crossing the border to target Daesh and the PYD in support of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters.
The operation is in line with the country’s right to self-defense borne out of international treaties and a mandate given to the Armed Forces by the Turkish parliament in 2014 and extended for another year in September 2015. Operations by the Turkish army which have been actively fighting Daesh, have significantly contributed to ongoing efforts of the U.S.-backed international coalition against the terror group. Since January, rocket attacks against the Turkish province of Kilis from Daesh-held territory in Syria have killed at least 21 people, while terrorist attacks in Gaziantep blamed on Daesh include Saturday’s suicide bombing of a wedding that killed 54 victims and a car bomb attack in May that martyred two police officers.
The Free Syrian Army recently took control of Jarabulus, where one FSA member was killed. The Turkish army sustained no casualties.