New Turkish tank incursion into Syria

Turkey-backed Syrian rebels on Saturday launched a new operation against Islamic State near the border which aims to advance eastwards against the jihadists from the town of al-Rai, a rebel commander said.

Since then, rebels claim to have been seizing villages along the Turkish border.

Some 5,000 US and Turkish-backed Syrian rebels have crossed into northern Syria from Turkey to participate in the so-called Euphrates Shield operation, according to local journalist Adnan al-Hussein, who is embedded with the groups.

The rebels last week took the frontier town of Jarablus with Turkish support. In the last few months, al-Rai has repeatedly changed hands between rebels and IS.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group confirmed the rebels had taken the village and also that they had seized at least one other nearby.

Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies began the August 24 offensive by seizing Jarablus, a Syrian frontier town, from Islamic State, before turning their sights on what the army said were YPG positions.

"The operations are to work from al-Rai towards the villages that were liberated to the west of Jarablus", Colonel Ahmed Osman of the Sultan Murad rebel group told Reuters.

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A source in the Failaq al-Sham rebel group said FSA factions had also captured the villages of Fursan, Lilawa, Kino and Najma just south of Arab Ezza.

HIMARS refers to a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.

The statement also said that Turkish Air Forces attacked and destroyed two Daesh targets in the Vukuf region, south of El Rai, around 13.00 local time (1000GMT).

Ten Turkish soldiers were killed in two separate clashes Friday with militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Turkish state media reported on Saturday. The YPG has been among the most effective partners on the ground in the USA -led fight against IS.

Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast has been rocked by waves of violence following the collapse of a ceasefire between the state and the PKK a year ago. All organizations involved in terrorism are cursed.

Turkey's moves against Kurdish forces have aggravated the United States, which backs the YPG and considers the group to be the most effective fighting force on the ground against ISIL in Syria.

The Turkish army and police are securing the construction of a concrete wall along the borderline with Syria with a view to maintaining security across the Turkish border, governor of the south-eastern Sanliurfa province, Azim Tuna, said Saturday.