Turkey has killed almost 900 alleged members of the Islamic State (IS) group since January through artillery fire and air raids, the state-run Anatolia news agency said today, citing military sources.
The country, a member of a US-led coalition fighting IS, has killed 492 “terrorists” since January 9 in air raids, while another 370 were killed in artillery strikes which also destroyed arms depots, the agency said.
These figures could not be independently verified. Turkey, which has been hit by attacks blamed on jihadists, including two deadly suicide bombings in Istanbul that targeted foreign tourists, began to carry out air strikes against the group in Syria last summer. Ankara also allows US jets to use its air base in southern Turkey for air bombardments on the extremist group in Syria.
Turkey began its air strikes following a suicide bombing in July last year blamed on IS extremists, which killed 34 people in the border town of Suruc.
In recent weeks, the Turkish border town of Kilis has come under frequent attack from rockets fired across the border from Syria, prompting the army to respond to each strike with howitzer fire.