FSA backed by Turkish Armed Forces approaches Tariq al-Bab, Daesh's stronghold in northern Syria.
Levent Tok - ANKARA (AA) – The Free Syrian Army (FSA) backed by the Turkish army has formed a security corridor of 1,000 square kilometers (386 square miles) in northern Syria through Operation Euphrates Shield, military sources said Friday.
According to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, the FSA backed by Turkish armor, artillery, and jets has come close to the Aleppo province’s Tariq al-Bab district, Daesh’s stronghold in northern Syria.
Under Operation Euphrates Shield, which began on Aug. 24, the FSA and Turkish army carved out the security corridor by ridding the area of the Daesh and PKK/PYD terrorist organizations, the sources said.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim gave a similar assessment Thursday on Twitter, saying: "Under Operation Euphrates Shield, an area of 1,000 km has been cleared of terrorism, and Syrians have started to return there."
The eastern security corridor towards Jarabulus spans 24 km from north to south, and the western security corridor spans 20 km, the sources added.
The sources also said that the Soran and Dabiq regions were the first targets of the operation before Tariq al-Bab.
On Aug. 24 Turkey began Operation Euphrates Shield with the FSA in northern Syria aimed at bolstering border security, supporting coalition forces, and eliminating the threat posed by terror organizations, namely Daesh.
The operation is in line with the country’s right to self-defense borne out of international treaties and a mandate given to Turkey’s armed forces by its parliament in 2014, which was extended for another year in September 2015.