The Turkish military has said it has killed 55 Islamic State fighters north of the Syrian city of Aleppo.
They were killed in shelling which also took out three vehicles and three rocket installations in Suran and Tal El Hisn, according to military sources.The Turkish border town of Kilis, which lies just across from Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria, has regularly been struck by rockets in recent weeks.It is about 37 miles north of Aleppo which, while almost ruined, is the biggest strategic prize in the five-year civil war.The Turkish military usually responds to the rockets with artillery fire, but officials say it is difficult to hit moving Islamic State targets and it wants more help to defend the border.
On Saturday, Iran said several of its soldiers had been killed near the city, in what appeared to be one of the country’s biggest losses since it deployed forces in support of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.Fars news agency quoted a Revolutionary Guards official as saying that 13 Iranian military advisers had died and 21 wounded as Islamist fighters seized the village of Khan Touman, nine miles southwest of Aleppo.Also on Saturday, US-led coalition air strikes in Syria killed 48 Islamic State fighters, according to a report from Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.
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Last week, the United States and Russia brokered a ceasefire in the city of Aleppo.But fighting in the countryside to the south of the city, one of the main areas where Iranian-backed forces are deployed, has become worse.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group that monitors the conflict, said Syrian and Russian planes had intensified their bombing.