Turkey renews air strikes on Islamic State sites in Syria

Turkey's state-run news agency says Turkish tanks have entered Syria's Cobanbey district northeast of Aleppo in a "new phase" of the Euphrates Shield operation.

Turkey's 10-day-old offensive, its first major incursion into Syria since the war started five years ago, has alarmed the West.

The United States has voiced concerns about Turkish strikes on Kurdish-aligned groups that Washington supports.

Turkish Firtina howitzers fired on ISIS targets as the fresh armoured contingent advanced, Dogan said.

By supporting the rebels, mainly Arabs and Turkmen fighting under the loose banner of the Free Syrian Army, Turkey is hoping to drive out Islamic State militants and check the advance of US -backed Syrian Kurdish fighters.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey would not allow the group to create a "terror corridor".

The private Dogan news agency reported at least 20 tanks and five armored personnel carriers crossed at the Turkish border town of Elbeyli, across from the Syrian rebel-held town of al-Rai. The YPG denied they were there.

Rebels and Turkish forces are now advancing in two directions, to the east from al-Rai and to the west from Jarablus, to seal the border.

The army said the area around Kunduriyah was now controlled by the opposition rebels.

"We all must have an interest in avoiding long-term military confrontations on Syrian soil", he told reporters in Bratislava.

Turkey s operation against the YPG has raised tensions with Syrian Kurds in other areas.

Ankara has said the YPG will remain a target unless it returns east of the Euphrates river into the two cantons under Kurdish control.

"The Turkish Armed Forces take all necessary measures to prevent harming civilians in the region and shows high sensitivity on this issue", the statement said. The YPG has been among the most effective partners on the ground in the USA -led fight against IS.

"Right now, people say they have gone to the east but we say no, they haven t crossed", Erdogan said.

"They are working with us to defeat ISIL and are an important partner on a whole range of security issues in the region", he said, using an acronym for ISIS.

His comments were echoed by Kurtulmus, the deputy prime minister, who spoke to Reuters while on a visit to Chicago. "So it would be very useful if we would apply this operation with the USA forces together".

Turkey's pro-government Daily Sabah newspaper said Turkish air strikes in support of the rebels continued on Saturday.

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