ISIL’s ‘caliphate’ was destroyed in March 2019 but its ideology is still intact in the region and many fighters present.
A series of missile attacks near oil facilities ignited major blazes in northern Syria near the Turkish border and killed one person on Friday.
Explosions rocked oil refineries near the towns of al-Bab and Jarablus and set off large fires, Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.
A source in the Turkish military, which controls swaths of northwest Syria where Turkish troops have a presence, said missile attacks had caused the blasts, which also wounded 11 people.
Anadolu said they were ballistic missiles and it was not clear who carried out the attacks.
In Syria, Russia is a main supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government while Turkey backs a handful of opposition factions.
Turkey has carried out three major forays into northeastern Syria since 2016 to drive away Kurdish fighters and the armed group ISIL (ISIS) from the border area.
In 2019, it sent in troops to expel Syrian Kurdish fighters it considers “terrorists” from the area and to create a “safe zone” where it hoped to resettle refugees.
Turkey halted the offensive following separate deals with the United States and Russia that promised the withdrawal of the Kurdish militia.