Dozens of US Special Operations Forces have been deployed to Syria’s border with Turkey to fight Daesh, or the Islamic State (IS) group there, in support of the Turkish military and “vetted” Syrian rebels, the Pentagon said Friday.

Last month, Ankara launched an ambitious military offensive in northern Syria dubbed “Euphrates Shield”, sending in tanks and special forces to support opposition fighters in a bid to remove Daesh  fighters and Kurdish militia forces from its frontier.

“At the request of the government of Turkey, US special operations forces are accompanying Turkish and vetted Syrian opposition forces as they continue to clear territory from ISIL in and around the area of the Syrian border near Jarabulus and Ar-Rai,” said Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis.

That area is near the flashpoint city of Aleppo.

A US defense official said there were several dozen troops in the new special forces contingent.