IS loses last stretch of Syria-Turkey border: Monitor

"IS has lost its contact with the outside world after losing the remaining border villages," the Britain-based monitor said.

AFP| Updated: Sep 04, 2016, 23:20 PM IST
IS loses last stretch of Syria-Turkey border: Monitor

Beirut: Turkish forces and Syrian rebels expelled the Islamic State group from the last areas of the Syrian-Turkish border under their control on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"IS has lost its contact with the outside world after losing the remaining border villages," the Britain-based monitor said.

The Observatory said "rebels and Islamist factions backed by Turkish tanks and warplanes" had taken several villages on the border "after IS withdrew from them, ending IS's presence... On the border."

The advance come after Turkey launched an operation dubbed Euphrates Shield on August 24, saying it was targeting both IS but also Syrian Kurdish forces that have been key to driving the jihadists out of other parts of the Syrian-Turkish border.

The Kurdish YPG militia is a key partner of the US-led coalition against IS, and has recaptured large swathes of territory in Syria from the extremist group.

But Ankara considers the YPG a "terrorist" group and has been alarmed by its expansion along the border, fearing the creation of a contiguous, semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Syria.

The loss of the Turkish border will deprive IS of a key transit point for recruits and supplies, though the group continues to hold territory in both Syria and Iraq.