Turkish military claims it has cleared ISIS militants from border; Video footage shows Islamic State kilometers from Israel’s border; Putin met with Erdogan in China, talks centered on Syria and improving cooperation
Turkey announced on Sunday evening that it has cleared the Islamic State from its border with Syria. According to the Turkish military, 90 kilometers have been cleared of Islamic State militants and Kurdish fighters in Syria as a result of the ongoing two-week incursion, referred to as “Operation Euphrates Shield”.
According to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim Sunday, the Turkish military’s presence “are there to protect our border, to provide for our citizens’ safety of life and property, and to ensure Syria’s integrity… We will never allow the formation of an artificial state in the north of Syria,” referring to both the Kurdish YPG and ISIS.
The reports come on the same day video footage was released by the Islamic State showing its militants in the Yarmouk Valley, just a few kilometers from Israel’s border with Syria. The footage shows ISIS in combat with the Syrian military and rebel forces.
Meanwhile in China, Russian President Vladamir Putin met with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, their meeting centered on improving relations, specifically in energy, and Syria. According to Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “They talked for quite a long time, both in the format of the delegations meeting and one-on-one plus the foreign ministers. They then exchanged views on the Syrian issue. The conversation was quite frank and thorough,” and centered on “restoring all formats [of cooperation].” He summarized their meeting as “On the whole, the talks have been quite positive and showed our mutual intention to normalize relations.”