Explosions ring out in Syrian border town of Jarablus as Turkey-backed rebel forces advance in Syria as part of an operation to wipe out Islamic State militants from the border. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NATURAL (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Explosions went off in Syrian town of Jarablus near Turkish border on Saturday (August 27), private Dogan news agency reported as plumes of smokes were visible from Turkey's border village of Karkamis. It was not immediately clear whether the blasts were triggered by controlled mine explosions or by mortal shells landing in the area. Turkey is backing an operation that began this week by Syrian rebel groups to capture Islamic State-held territory in northern Syria at the Turkish border. The Turkish-backed operation aims partly to prevent the Kurdish People's Protection Unit (YPG) militia and Democratic Union Party (PYD)- the political wing of YPG - further expanding their influence in northern Syria. The YPG is a critical component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Turkish warplanes also struck civilian homes and positions held by a group allied to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance in a village south of Jarablus in northern Syria on Saturday, the group said in a statement. The Jarablus Military Council group, part of the Kurdish-backed SDF, said the attack on the village of al-Amarna caused civilian casualties and called it "a dangerous escalation that threatens the fate of the region". There was no immediate comment from Turkish officials. A Reuters witness saw unidentified warplanes flying over the border region into Syria from Turkey early on Saturday morning, followed by the sound of explosions. The village of al-Amarna is some 10 km (6 miles) south of Jarablus, a town captured from Islamic State by the Turkey-backed rebels this week. An official in one of the Turkey-backed rebel groups said SDF-allied fighters had positions in al-Amarna. The Jarablus Military Council was set up with the stated aim of capturing the Islamic State-held town. Its statement called the Turkish actions on Saturday provocative. "We confirm our ability to defend ourselves," it said.