Islamic State jihadists have been expelled from the last strip of territory under the group’s control along the Syrian-Turkey border, according to Turkey,Sky News reports.
Prime Minister Binali Yildrim said Turkish forces and Syrian rebels had pushed back “terrorist organisations”.
In a televised speech from the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, he said: “From Azaz to Jarabulus, our 91km border has been completely secured.” It would be a major setback for IS, which uses the border between the two countries as a key supply line to bring in foreign fighters, weapons and ammunition.
The group still holds territory in Syria and Iraq. Turkey began an operation inside Syria on 24 August, using tanks and war planes to back opposition fighters with special forces also providing support.
The success is likely to deliver a blow to the Syrian Kurdish YPG, which has been gaining territory in the north of Syria with support from the US-led coalition against the extremist group.
Ankara considers the YPG a “terrorist” group and is concerned its expansion along the border could lead to the creation of a semi-autonomous Kurdish region. It comes as Syrian government troops renewed the siege of rebel-held parts of Aleppo.
Syrian state media said the army and allied forces had taken control of an area south of the city, severing the sole route left into eastern neighbourhoods help by opposition fighters. That leaves around 250,000 people still living in rebel-controlled parts of the city cut off again from the outside world.