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Ankara has announced plans to expand the so-called security zone deeper into northern Syria, after rebels – backed by Turkey’s tanks and air force as part of the ongoing Operation Euphrates Shield – achieved a “strategic and symbolic” victory against ISIS. Commenting on the ongoing offensive in Syria, the country’s minister of defense said on Sunday that Turkish forces now control a 90-kilometer (55 mile) stretch along the border, which extends 20km (12 miles) into Syria.

“Turkish Armed Forces intend to penetrate [the] terrorist stronghold even further, by 45 kilometers. We will create a security zone in northern Syria, and thus we will eliminate the threat to our territory,” said Fikri Işık, Anadolu News reported. Işık said that terrorists are now having a harder time shelling southern Turkish territory, praising the success of Operation Euphrates Shield.

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