Europe

The Latest: Turkish report says ground forces enter Syria

  • Turkish army tanks move toward the Syrian border as pictured from Karkamis, Turkey, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Turkey's military launched an operation before dawn Wednesday to clear a Syrian border town from Islamic State militants, and a private Turkish TV station reported that a small number of Turkish special forces had crossed into Syria as part of the operation. The operation was launched hours before Vice President Joe Biden was due in Ankara for talks that include developments in Syria.(AP Photo)

    Turkish army tanks move toward the Syrian border as pictured from Karkamis, Turkey, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Turkey's military launched an operation before dawn Wednesday to clear a Syrian border town from Islamic State militants, and a private Turkish TV station reported that a small number of Turkish special forces had crossed into Syria as part of the operation. The operation was launched hours before Vice President Joe Biden was due in Ankara for talks that include developments in Syria.(AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim walk to review a guard of honour before a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Biden has arrived in Ankara for talks with Turkish leaders as Turkey launched a military operation to clear a Syrian border town of Islamic State militants. The visit comes at a difficult time for ties between the two NATO allies.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

    U.S Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim walk to review a guard of honour before a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Biden has arrived in Ankara for talks with Turkish leaders as Turkey launched a military operation to clear a Syrian border town of Islamic State militants. The visit comes at a difficult time for ties between the two NATO allies.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)  (The Associated Press)

  • Turkish army tanks move toward the Syrian border as pictured from Karkamis, Turkey, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Turkey's military launched an operation before dawn Wednesday to clear a Syrian border town from Islamic State militants, and a private Turkish TV station reported that a small number of Turkish special forces had crossed into Syria as part of the operation. The operation was launched hours before Vice President Joe Biden was due in Ankara for talks that include developments in Syria.(AP Photo)

    Turkish army tanks move toward the Syrian border as pictured from Karkamis, Turkey, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Turkey's military launched an operation before dawn Wednesday to clear a Syrian border town from Islamic State militants, and a private Turkish TV station reported that a small number of Turkish special forces had crossed into Syria as part of the operation. The operation was launched hours before Vice President Joe Biden was due in Ankara for talks that include developments in Syria.(AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest developments in the civil war in Syria (all times local):

9 a.m.

A Turkish media report says a small number of Turkish special forces have crossed into Syria as part of a Turkish operation to rid a Syrian border town of Islamic State group militants.

Private NTV television says the Turkish special forces entered Syria on Wednesday in what it described was an "intruder mission" to carry out "pinpoint operations" against IS as part of the mission to clear the town of Jarablus of the extremists.

The London-based Syrian Observatory also said the Turkish troops had entered Syria.

Turkish government officials could not immediately confirm the report.

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5 a.m.

Turkey's and the U.S.-backed coalition forces on Wednesday launched an operation to clear a Syrian border town from Islamic State militants, the office of the Turkish prime minister said.

The operation began at 4 a.m. (0100 GMT), with Turkish artillery launching intense cross-border fire on the town of Jarablus, followed by Turkish warplanes bombing IS targets in the town, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

It was not immediately clear if any Turkish or Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces crossed the border to take part in the operation.

The news agency said the operation aims to clear Turkey's border of "terror organizations" and increase border security, as well as "prioritize and support" Syria's territorial integrity. The assault followed Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlet Cavusolgu pledge on Tuesday of "every kind" of support for operations against IS along a 100-kilometer (62-mile) stretch of Syrian frontier.