Putin, Erdogan Agree to Continue Coordination on Syria Ceasefire

Posted September 13, 2016

"We have always said that if we do not support local forces on the ground, if there is no land operation, it will not be possible to eliminate or even stop Daesh exclusively from the air", he said.

Earlier, Nuh Kocaaslan, the mayor of Karkamış, the Turkish town across the border from Jarablus, said 20,000 people had returned to the Syrian city since it was cleared of terrorists.

Turkish-backed militia drove ISIS from the border town of Jarablus, but Turkey has also been concerned with checking the advance of Kurdish forces whom it regarded as terrorists.

Last month Turkey launched an operation inside Syria, targeting both the IS and Kurdish rebels.

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Turkey's energy ministry confirmed that work was under way on a 3km cable from Karakamis in Turkey's Gaziantep province to Jarabulus. It says a shortage of shelter space means many displaced families are sleeping outdoors in parks. Power supplies across Syria have been severely disrupted by the war.

"The actions that Turkey is now taking along its border with Syria, with USA support, is having the important effect of isolating Raqqa", the official said.

The United Nations has in the past expressed caution about encouraging returns of civilians too soon.

He said Turkey has intelligence reports that the militants, who plan to exterminate the Turkomans living in Iraq's north, have concentrated in northern Mosul and Iraqi city of Tal Afar, adding that this is inadmissible for Turkey.

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Further south and west of Jarablus, Turkish forces have continued fighting. It said the wounded were evacuated by helicopters. Turkey had blamed the death of one soldier on August 28 in a similar attack on Kurdish militia. Ankara sees the YPG as an extension of the PKK which is fighting an insurgency on Turkish soil.

Speaking to media on Tuesday, Recip Erdogan said that US President Barack Obama suggested the possibility of joint military action against the terror organisation during last weekend's G20 meeting in China.

It said Turkey's rebel allies had taken six more villages, located in Islamic State-held areas, adding to dozens of settlements now under the control of Turkish-backed forces.

The Turkish leader adds that he said Turkish and US military officials could meet to discuss the issue.

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