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Turkey announces end to military operation in Syria

Turkey's prime minister has announced an end to the operation known as "Euphrates Shield." The offensive was launched last summer as part of the fight against the so-called "Islamic State."

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Turkey ends northern Syria offensive

The military operation known as "Euphrates Shield" is now over, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced on Wednesday.

Yildirim said in an interview with a local broadcaster that from now on any Turkish military operations in Syria would be known by a new name, German news agency DPA reported.

His words came after a meeting with the country's national security council.

Turkey first launched "Euphrates Shield" back in August 2016 as part of an effort to clear out members of the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) terrorist group from a Syrian border town. Along with allied Syrian rebel groups, they also attacked Kurdish militia groups in the region.

No mention of troop withdrawals

Turkey-backed forces captured from the militants several towns in the region including Jarabulus, Al-Rai, Dabiq and Al-Bab. Turkish military forces sustained heavy casualties in the latter.

The operation now controls some 2,000 miles square km (1,242 miles) of northern Syria but longer shares any borders with IS-controlled areas.

The prime minister didn't mention anything about withdrawing troops from the controlled areas, some of which have been used to houe Syrian refugees.

blc/jm (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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