Turkish jets hit ISIS targets in Syria
American jets were standing by to assist all aircraft involved in the operations
Turkish jets on Saturday launched bombing raids against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria, the day before Turks are due to vote in a parliamentary election, a senior government official said.
American jets were standing by to assist and all aircraft involved in the operations returned safely, the official told Reuters. Ground forces were not involved.
Turkey vowed to take a more active role in combating ISIS in July, as part of a multi-pronged offensive which also saw them ramp up attacks on Kurdish militants.
Since then, the Turkish military has primarily concentrated on hitting its old foe, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), although Turkish airbases have also been used by U.S.-led coalition jets to hit ISIS targets in northern Syria.
ISIS militants control swathes of territory along the Turkish border, and the group is linked to a recent suicide bomb attack on a peace rally in Ankara, which killed more than 100 people.
The bombing raids come at a sensitive time for the Turkish government, as it attempts to act decisively after criticism for failing to prevent the Ankara attack, the worst of its type in the country's history.
At the same time, most Turks hold deep misgivings about any deeper involvement in the Syria conflict, and the opposition has strongly criticised President Tayyip Erdogan's foreign policy in the run-up to Sunday's parliamentary polls.