Turkey shells Islamic State in Syria west of US-backed assault

June 2, 2016 11:12

DIYARBAKIR - The Turkish army killed five Islamic State militants in Syria in cross-border shelling, Turkish military sources said on Thursday, hitting positions west of where an offensive on militants was launched by Syrian fighters with US backing.

Thousands of Syrian rebels supported by a small US special operations team launched a major offensive on Tuesday to drive Islamic State from the "Manbij pocket" near the Turkish border, which Islamic State has used as a logistics hub.

Washington informed Ankara of the Manbij operation, but it was beyond the range of Turkish artillery and Turkey would not back a campaign in which Syrian Kurdish fighters played a role, another Turkish military source said on Wednesday.

Turkish border guards fired artillery at two Islamic State positions near the Syrian town of Azaz on Wednesday, the Turkish military sources said, west of the US-backed operation and directly south of the Turkish border town of Kilis, which has been repeatedly hit by Islamic State rockets.

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