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Turkey Sends More Tanks To Syria, Warns Kurdish Militias To Pull Back

Turkish Army tanks drive to the Syrian border town of Jarabulus on August 25.

Turkey has sent more tanks into northern Syria and warned U.S.-backed Kurdish militias in the area to pull back, a day after Turkish forces, supported by U.S. air strikes, launched a military offensive against Islamic State (IS) militants.

More than 20 Turkish tanks were in Syria on August 25 as part of an operation aimed at driving IS militants out of the border area around the Syrian town of Jarablus and stopping Kurdish militia fighters from seizing territory in the area.

A day earlier, Turkish tanks and armored personnel carriers crossed the border into northern Syria and seized control of Jarablus, which has been under the control of the militants since July 2013. Syrian rebels from the Free Syrian Army were also taking part in the operation.

Turkey also warned the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) that it must withdraw east of the Euphrates River or Ankara would be forced to intervene.

Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party, or PKK, an armed insurgent group which it considers a terror organization.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP