The forces of the Turkish army have struck at least 224 blows on 63 targets of Islamic State militants in Syria (the organization is banned in Russia), CNN Turk reports with reference to a source at Turkish military circles.
The Turkish artillery attacked Syria at 04:00 local time and struck 224 blows on 63 targets.
Armored formations of the Turkish army were concentrated in the area of the Syrian city of Jarablus. At 08:30 local time, Turkish armored vehicles set off towards Jarablus to cleanse the city from ISIL terrorists.
Earlier, Turkish NTV channel reported that Turkey had officially informed Russia about the start of the operation in the north of Syria.
Special forces and armored formations of the Turkish army have already crossed the Turkish-Syrian border. Turkey currently uses tanks, artillery and aviation to attack the positions of Islamic State terrorists in Syria.
According to Turkish news agency Anadolu, the operation in Jarablus is aimed at cleaning the Turkish borders from terrorist groups and support the territorial integrity of Syria.
The authorities of the country said that the goal of the military operation is to reduce the flow of migrants and deliver humanitarian aid to the population. According to officials, Turkey uses "intense gunfire" against terrorists.
Terrorists captured Jarablus in 2013. In March of this year, the Syrian troops, with allies' support, liberated the city of Palmyra that was seized in the summer of 2015.
In just a few months, ISISL terrorists destroyed ancient temples of Bel and Baalshamin, as well as the Monumental Arch of Palmyra from II-III centuries BC.
Russian experts evaluated restoration works at nearly $600,000. The work will take about 12 months.
Pravda.Ru asked President of the Institute for the Middle East, Yevgeny Satanovsky, to comment on the real goals of the operation.
"The official goal is, of course, to struggle against the Islamic State. At the same time, the pro-American Kurdish opposition claims that Turkey is attacking primarily the Kurds. The groups of the Islamic State are located at least 20 kilometers away from the positions that the Turkish army currently occupies," the expert told Pravda.Ru.
When asked about the cause that could push Turkey towards the anti-terrorist operation in Syria all of a sudden, Mr. Satanovsky said Ankara had never struggled against terrorism before. "Ankara had commercial relations with Daesh. The fact that Turkey is technically a member of the anti-terrorist coalition, does not mean anything," said the expert.
Yevgeny Satanovsky said that Turkish security services always provided support to the Islamic State, while Erdogan's relatives made their fortune on illegal oil trade with the Islamic State. All those operations were conducted under the guise of Turkey's anti-terrorist struggle.
According to the expert, it is natural that Erdogan never asked Russia to help Turkey in the struggle against terrorism. "Why would Russia help Turkey here? We have different goals in Syria. Erdogan needs to strike the Kurds, rather than terrorists. This is what he is doing right now," concluded the Orientalist.
Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru