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ANKARA, Turkey – State television is reporting that Turkey has launched a military operation to evacuate troops guarding a tomb in Syria.
Turkey's state-run TRT television broadcaster reported early Sunday that Turkey launched the operation overnight to evacuate troops guarding an Ottoman tomb in Syria, just over the border near the town of Kobani.
Kobani was the focus of U.S. airstrikes as Kurdish forces battled militants of the Islamic State group, who hold about a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in their self-declared caliphate. Turkey stayed out of the battle at the time, which saw Kurds push out the extremists.
Some 40 Turkish tombs guard the tomb of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of the Ottoman Empire's founder. The tomb sits in Syria's embattled Aleppo province and is considered Turkish territory.