‘At least five killed’ in Islamic State attack on Syrian border

Turkish security sources say 12 wounded during incident in town of Jarablus

A member of Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) patrols in the border town of Jarablus, Syria on  August 31st. Photgraph:  Umit Bektas/Reuters

A member of Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) patrols in the border town of Jarablus, Syria on August 31st. Photgraph: Umit Bektas/Reuters

 

At least five people were killed and 12 wounded in an Islamic State attack in the Syrian border town of Jarablus, Turkish security and hospital sources said on Thursday, only a day after civilians started returning to their homes in the town.

Wounded people were taken to hospitals in Turkey’s southern province of Gaziantep, which lies across the border from Jarablus, the same hospital sources said.

A group of 292 Syrians went back to the Syrian town of Jarablus from Turkey on Wednesday, marking the first formal return of civilians since Ankara launched a military incursion two weeks ago to try to secure the border region, a Turkish official said.

Jarablus, which had been held by Islamic State, also known as Isis, was the first town captured by Turkey’s army and its Syrian rebel allies in an offensive launched on August 24th. The move aims to sweep away jihadists and Syrian Kurdish militias from the frontier.

Turkey has said it cleared militants from a 90km (55-mile) stretch of Syrian territory and has pushed south. It has also said it would support any US initiative to strike Islamic State’s stronghold of Raqqa, further to the southeast.

But Turkey’s tactics have drawn criticism from its Nato ally the US and also from Russia, with which it recently patched up ties.

Washington says Turkish attacks on Kurdish-aligned militias damage a US-backed coalition that is fighting Islamic State. Russia, which backs the government in Damascus, said on Wednesday Ankara’s push south threatened Syria’s sovereignty.

Reuters