Turkey Kicks Off Anti-ISIS Effort in Syria

Turkey on Wednesday kicked off its largest offensive targeting ISIS in Syria, using artillery, aircraft, and special operations to take the Syrian border village of Jerablus. The offensive, which Turkey has called Operation Euphrates Shield, kicked off before dawn on Wednesday, with the help of US F-16 and A-10 airstrikes, and aimed to clear the village of both ISIS and the Kurdish YPG, according to Turkish state media. The overall objective of the operation is to protect the Turkish border, contribute to the anti-ISIS fight, and prevent new flows of refugees, among others, according to an official Twitter account Turkey established for live updates of the offensive. It began as US Vice President Joe Biden is in Ankara, where he urged the YPG to withdraw to the eastern side of the Euphrates River. “We have made it clear to Kurdish forces that they must move back across the river. They cannot and will not get American support if they do not keep that commitment. Period,” Biden said, according to The New York Times. Erdogan said in a Wednesday speech that Turkey wants to have Syria keep its “territorial integrity” and that Turkey “only ever sought to help the people of Syria.”