Turkey May Be Limited in Helping to Drive IS From Raqqa

But Ankara has made a concerted effort to push back against the fanatical regime and Turkey and its rebel allies now control a 60-mile stretch of land on the Syrian side of the border.

Mr Canikli also said 110 Islamic State and Kurdish militia fighters had been killed since the operation began.

Turkish-backed militia drove IS from the border town of Jarablus, but Turkey has also been concerned with checking the advance of Kurdish forces whom it regards as terrorists.

Speaking to media on Tuesday, Recip Erdogan said that US President Barack Obama suggested the possibility of joint military action against the terror organisation during last weekend's G20 meeting in China.

Daesh is another term for Islamic State, while the PYD is the political wing of Syrian YPG militia, which Ankara says is an extension of Turkey's outlawed PKK Kurdish militant group.

Ankara would not object, Erdogan said.

The Turkish-backed rebels, mainly Syrian Arabs and Turkmen fighting under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, took charge of the frontier between the towns of Azaz and Jarablus on Sunday after seizing 20 villages from the ultra-hardline Islamists.

The military said late on Tuesday that three Turkish soldiers were killed when two tanks were hit by rockets fired by Islamic State.

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Metin Gurcan, a former major in the Turkish military and an analyst for the Al Monitor online journal, said Washington and Moscow's divergent agendas in Syria raised serious questions about the viability of the Turkish plans.

"Going down to the southeast to Raqqa will mean for Turkish armed forces a very, very long trajectory of logistical support", Gursel said.

Turkish forces shelled five terrorist targets in northern Syria as part of Operation Euphrates Shield, the military said on Wednesday.

When asked if ongoing U.S. cooperation with the Kurds would be a stumbling block, Erdogan said he didn't consider it to be a problem, pointing to Turkey's latest operation (Euphrates Shield), which has gone smoothly so far.

"A Turkish involvement in any other form would be similar to those of other countries in the Syrian conflict", Eisa said.

"We are talking about two superpowers with great stakes in Syria". The US has backed the Kurdish fighters against the jihadists, but Turkey sees them as a hostile force linked to Kurdish militants on its own soil. The YPG is seen as key to USA plans to recapture Raqqa, analysts say.

The army initially said that two of its troops had been killed, but later added that another soldier had succumbed to his wounds. Canikli told a news conference on Wednesday that the YPG had not yet completely pulled back east.

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