U.S. told pro-Kurdish forces in Syria not to cross Euphrates: Biden

A Turkish soldier stands guard in the city of Karkamis on the Syrian border

The "Islamic State" (IS, ISIL, ISIS or Daesh) is the most active terrorist group in Syria.

The battle for Jarabulus is part of a broader campaign by US -backed forces that are on the offensive across Syria and Iraq. Turkey said they had to retreat after clearing it from IS.

The ministry said that any anti-terrorism effort must be coordinated with the Syrian government, describing the Turkish intervention as a flagrant violation of Syrian sovereignty.

The statement also calls for an immediate end to the Turkish "aggression", which it says is being carried out under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Ankara views the PYD as an extension of Kurdish militants fighting an insurgency on its own soil, putting it at odds with Washington, which sees the group as an ally in the fight against Daesh. "It has been in our collective sights for a long time" said the official, using an alternative acronym for DAESH.

A dozen Turkish tanks then rolled into Syria in support of Syrian opposition fighters who had also crossed, with 1,500 of them now in the area according to state media.

"We are certain that the Syrian crisis can be settled exclusively on the firm basis of global law, through a wide intra-Syrian dialog encompassing all ethnic and religious groups, including the Kurds, on the basis of the Geneva communique of June 30, 2012, Resolution 2254 and other decisions by the UN Security Council, adopted at the initiative of the worldwide Syria Support Group", the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Dolgov described the Turkish military as "rather powerful", adding that it "is considered to be the second best in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in terms of fighting efficiency".

Turkish military sources said the air strikes had hit 12 Islamic State targets, while artillery fire hit 70 targets.

Turkey's government classifies Kurdish nationalists as terrorists, although Erdo─čan also pointed to a bomb attack that killed 54 in Southern Turkey, which the Turkish regime blamed on ISIS, as justification for Wednesday's siege in Syria.

It was the first time warplanes from Turkey have struck in Syria since November, when Turkey downed a Russian warplane near the border, and the first significant incursion by Turkish special forces since a brief operation to relocate the tomb of Suleyman Shah, a revered Ottoman figure, in February 2015. Authorities did not disclose the number of those detained.

Erdogan, addressing groups that have targeted Turkey, says: "You will not succeed".

Moscow has supported President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's conflict, while Ankara has backed the rebels fighting his regime.

Security sources quoted by Turkish television said a small contingent of special forces had travelled into Syria to secure the area before the larger ground operation.

The Britain-based monitoring group didn't say how many fighters were involved. On Tuesday, it said that around 500 rebels were waiting to cross into Syria.

Turkish tank units and Syrian rebels backed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member crossed into northern Syria to push Daesh out of the border town of Jarablus, military sources said. It said clashes were taking place at the border.

Meanwhile, Vice President Biden is visiting Turkey, in what is the highest-level US trip to the country since a failed coup attempt last month.

Relations between the US and Turkey have been tense, because Turkey blames that failed coup on Fethullah Gulen, a cleric based in Pennsylvania. The United States is asking for evidence against the cleric and asking that Turkey allow the extradition process to take its course.

Turkey is stepping up its diplomacy around Syria.

"It is Turkey's legal right, it is within its authority" to take action, the minister said, adding that Wednesday's operation aimed to support the moderate Syrian opposition and was being carried out in coordination with the US -led coalition forces.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Operation Euphrates Shield was aimed at tackling both Daesh and the Kurds. "Until this threat is removed and the terror threat on our border disappears".

Militants from various armed groups are confronting the Syrian government troops.

Turkish government officials could not immediately confirm the report.

Turkish military's Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria was launched early Wednesday, when artillery and airstrikes were followed by Turkish tanks crossing the border to target Daesh and the PYD in support of the Free Syrian Army fighters.

The Turkish army began firing artillery rounds into Jarablus at around 0100 GMT and Turkish and USA warplanes pounded Daesh targets with air strikes.

Hours after the start of the operation, rebels backed by the Turkish forces battled their way through several IS-held villages and entered Jarablus.

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