ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish armed forces shelled positions of the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria in coordination with the US-led international anti-jihadist coalition, local media reported on Monday.
Turkish artillery fired 50 to 60 shells from howitzers positioned in its southern Kilis region against IS targets in the north of Syria’s Aleppo province, the private Dogan news agency reported.
A fragile ceasefire has taken effect in Syria, but jihadists are excluded from it.
It was the first attack in several weeks since Turkey, a member of the international coalition against the IS group, stuck jihadist positions in Syria.
Turkish artillery have fired on IS targets in Syria and in Iraq after a deadly suicide attack in Istanbul’s tourist hub of Sultanahmet in January.
The ceasefire deal in Syria, brokered by Russia and the United States, has been in place since Friday midnight. UN chief Ban Ki-moon said there had been some incidents but the ceasefire was generally holding.
The deal does not apply to territory held by the IS group and al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front.
Turkish artillery has fired on Kurdish militia forces this month, saying it was responding to incoming fire.
Ankara said the Syria truce should have excluded the People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia, which it considers to be a terror group linked to its own Kurdish militants.
However, the United States works closely with the YPG as the best fighting force on the ground in northern Syria in the battle against IS.
The issue has caused major tensions between the two NATO allies, with Washington wanting Ankara to focus on the fight against IS jihadists rather than the Kurdish fighters.