The Latest: Report: Turkey evacuates town near Syria border

AP News
Posted: Aug 23, 2016 12:25 PM
The Latest: Report: Turkey evacuates town near Syria border

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the Syrian civil war (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

A Turkish news agency says authorities are asking residents to evacuate the Turkish border town of Karkamis after a mortar round fired from Syria hit the grounds of its municipality building.

The private Dogan news agency says the mortar that struck the town Tuesday was fired from Jarablus, a Syrian border town controlled by the Islamic State group. It was the third mortar round fired from the extremist-ruled town in 24 hours.

The report says minibuses are being readied for people needing transportation.

Dogan says Turkish border units fired at Islamic State targets in Jarablus following the incident. The two sides have exchanged fire on a number of occasions in recent days.

Officials did not immediately confirm the report.


6:45 p.m.

Turkey says it will provide "every kind" of support to operations to rid Syria and Iraq of Islamic State militants, including a possible offensive against the IS-held town of Jarablus.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Tuesday his country is determined to fight IS and Kurdish militias "both inside and outside" of Turkey, saying the two groups had increased attacks on Turkey in the aftermath of last month's failed military coup.

Cavusoglu did not elaborate on the planned Turkish support.

He was speaking in the Turkish capital, Ankara during a joint news conference with his visiting Hungarian counterpart.

The minister also said Turkey had killed some 650 IS militants in strikes carried out from a military base in northern Iraq, without providing a time frame.


4 p.m.

Syrian state media says a cease-fire between government and Kurdish forces in Hasakeh has gone into effect, six days after fierce clashes erupted between the two sides over control of the northern Syrian city.

It says the cease-fire went into effect at 2 p.m. (1100 GMT) Tuesday.

The Kurdish Hawar News Agency says government forces and pro-government militias have agreed to withdraw from Hasakeh and leave it in under the control of the local Kurdish police force, the Asayish, as part of the terms of the cease-fire.

The statement from Syrian state media does not mention any withdrawals. It says the two sides had agreed to evacuate the injured and exchange detainees.

Government and Kurdish forces have shared control of Hasakeh since the early years of the Syrian war.


11:15 a.m.

Turkish media are saying that Turkey's artillery has shelled Islamic State targets across the border in Syria. This comes after two mortar rounds, believed to have been fired by the militants, landed on Turkish territory.

The Hurriyet newspaper and others say the mortar rounds, fired from IS-held Jarablus on Tuesday morning, hit the town of Karkamis, in Turkey's Gaziantep province. One of them exploded in the garden of a house, but no one was hurt.

Hurriyet reported on its website that Turkey's military responded by launching 40 rounds, hitting four IS target.

On Monday, Turkish artillery attacked a U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militia as well as IS positions in Syria.

The state-run Anadolu Agency reported Turkey has increased security measures at its border opposite Jarablus, deploying tanks and armored personnel carriers.