At least five killed as Syrians return home

  • 09/09/2016
Islamic State (Reuters)
Islamic State (Reuters)

At least five people have been killed and 12 wounded in an Islamic State attack in the Syrian border town of Jarabulus, only a day after civilians started returning to their homes in the town.

Wounded people were taken to hospitals in Turkey's southern province of Gaziantep, which lies across the border from Jarabulus, hospital sources said on Thursday.

A group of 292 Syrians went back to the Syrian town of Jarabulus from Turkey on Wednesday, marking the first formal return of civilians since Ankara launched a military incursion two weeks ago to try to secure the border region, a Turkish official said.

Jarablus, which had been held by Islamic State, was the first town captured by Turkey's army and its Syrian rebel allies in an offensive launched on August 24 that aims to sweep away jihadists and Syrian Kurdish militias from the frontier.

Turkey has said it cleared militants from a 90km stretch of Syrian territory and has pushed south. It has also said it would support any US initiative to strike Islamic State's stronghold of Raqqa, further to the southeast.

But Turkey's tactics have drawn criticism from its NATO ally the United States and also from Russia, with which it recently patched up ties.

Washington says Turkish attacks on Kurdish-aligned militias damage a US-backed coalition that is fighting Islamic State.