Turkish tanks stationed near the Syrian border, in Karkamis, Turkey, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. Turkey's state-run news agency says Turkish tanks have entered Syria's Cobanbey district northeast of Aleppo in a "new phase" of the Euphrates Shield operat...
Turkish tanks stationed near the Syrian border, in Karkamis, Turkey, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. Turkey's state-run news agency says Turkish tanks have entered Syria's Cobanbey district northeast of Aleppo in a "new phase" of the Euphrates Shield operat...

Turkey says Turkish-backed rebels battling Islamic State extremists on the Syrian border have driven IS fighters from their last remaining strongholds along a 100-kilometer stretch of borderland.

Turkey's direct military involvement in the push against IS began late last month, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — responding to a civilian massacre in Turkey's southeast — sent warplanes, tanks and artillery to crush terror threats on the border.

Sunday, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said border territory stretching from Azaz northeastward to Jarublus had been cleared.

The Syrian towns of Azaz and Marea, near the Turke

Those claims were confirmed by monitors from the Britain-based London-based Observatory for Human Rights. An Observatory statement said "IS has lost contact with the outside world after losing the remaining border villages between the Sajur river and [the village of] al-Rai."

Analysts say the rebel advance effectively cuts off key land routes used to supply the extremist movement with foreign recruits, weapons and ammunition.