This August 9, 2015 US Air Force handout photo shows an F-16 Fighting Falcon from Aviano Air Base, Italy arriving at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. AFP PHOTO/HANDOUT/US AIR FORCE/SR. AIRMAN MICHAEL BATTLES
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Turkey and the United States will soon launch "comprehensive" air operations to flush ISIS fighters from a zone in northern Syria bordering Turkey, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Reuters Monday.The United States and Turkey plan to provide air cover for what Washington judges to be moderate Syrian rebels as part of the operations, which aim to flush ISIS fom a rectangle of border territory roughly 80 km (50 miles) long, officials familiar with the plans have said.Turkey's relations with the PYD, whose forces control territory on the eastern fringe of the proposed safe zone, are complicated by what officials in Ankara say are the group's deep ties with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought an insurgency against Turkey for three decades.Cavusoglu said Turkey's military operations against PKK targets in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey, where Ankara has been carrying out air strikes over the past month, would continue until the group laid down its weapons.Diplomatic sources told Reuters on Friday that a second group of rebel fighters trained in Turkey by the U.S.-led coalition could be deployed to Syria within weeks as part of the strategy to push back ISIS.
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