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    US Still Assessing if Syria-Turkey Border Closed to Daesh Fighters

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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)
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    The US-led coalition against Daesh is checking whether the Syria-Turkey border is sealed to terrorists, who continue igniting oil infrastructure to prevent airstrikes.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US-led coalition against Daesh is still trying to determine if the Syria-Turkey border is closed to the terror group’s fighters after the city of Manbij was liberated, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson Col. Christopher Garver said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

    "That whole area of the border has been an open area for Daesh to come and go… but we’re still trying to assess whether [seizing Manbij] completely closed that part of the border or not," Garver told reporters.

    Garver explained that Manbij, located about 25 miles (40 km) south of the Turkish border, has been a long-standing opening for Daesh fighters to enter Syria and spread out into the country as well as in neighboring Iraq.

    However, Garver would not say whether the coalition believes Daesh fighters fleeing Manbij crossed into Turkey.

    The coalition does believe that the number of foreign fighters entering Syria has declined from a height of 2,000 per month to 200-500 per month, Garver noted.

    Russia and a number of international actors have repeatedly called on Turkey to seal its porous border with Syria to stop the flow of foreign fighters, weapons and munitions destined for Daesh and other extremist groups.

    Daesh Continues to Ignite Oil Infrastructure to Prevent US-Led Coalition Strikes

    Daesh terrorists have turned to setting oil infrastructure on fire in order to prevent airstrikes by the US-led coalition, Army Col. Garver told reporters.

    "Daesh [Islamic State] continues to ignite oil and oil industry infrastructure in order to attempt to prevent coalition targeting of their forces," Garver stated.

    The spokesperson noted that on Sunday, Daesh set a large oil storage tank on fire at the Iraqi Qayyarah power plant.

    However, Garver underscored the tactic will not stop coalition strikes against the terror group.

    The US-led coalition of more than 60 nations has been carrying out airstrikes in Syria and Iraq since the summer of 2014.

    Daesh is outlawed in Russia and numerous other countries throughout the world.

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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

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    Tags:
    airstrike, Daesh, Pentagon, Christopher Garver, Manbij, Syria, Turkey, United States
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