Turkey pushes for no-fly zone over northern Syria

A no-fly zone should be established to help refugees return to northern Syria, where Turkish armed forces have pushed back the Islamic State extremist group, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday.

"In order for people to go back to their homes, not only land action will be sufficient, we should also prevent the air attacks as well," Cavusoglu said at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Ankara.

This was not a task for NATO alone, Cavusoglu said, noting that such a move would require the support of the UN Security Council.

Last month, Turkey, a strong backer of the Syrian opposition, moved hundreds of rebel fighters into the northern border area for its first ground operation there.

The operation targeted Islamic State and Syrian Kurdish-led forces.

Stoltenberg welcomed Turkey's stepped-up efforts to fight Islamic State and other terrorist groups in the region.

"We have to stand together in the fight against international terrorism," Stoltenberg said.

"The key is to train local forces," he added as NATO was doing to combat terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Backed by Turkish firepower, the Syrian rebels last week seized the last stretch of the border controlled by Islamic State, cutting the radical organization off from the outside world.

Turkey said Friday that three of its soldiers were killed and one injured in clashes in northern Syria with Islamic State militants.

The casualties occurred after a tank was hit during clashes, the Turkish army said in a statement, according to the state news agency Anadolu. 

Last update: Fri, 09/09/2016 - 19:15

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