Turkey shells Islamic State in Syria, claims dozens killed

Turkish state media claimed Monday that more than 60 Islamic State militants died the previous day after they came under fire in northern Syria from Turkish and US coalition forces operating in Turkey.

The Turkish artillery shell assault was a response to rocket fire from the extremist group, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

According to Anadolu, 63 Islamic State members died in the attacks, which happened just inside Syria's border with Turkey. The information cannot be independently confirmed and the coalition itself has not commented yet.

Kilis, a town in southern Turkey, has increasingly seen rocket attacks from northern Syria. The attacks have almost become a daily affair. Turkish forces often fire back using howitzers and artillery cannons.

At least 18 people have been killed in Turkey in rocket attacks since the start of the year. Dozens have also been wounded. Among the casualties are many Syrian refugees who live in southern Turkey.

The US began airstrikes against Islamic State more than 18 months ago, in response to the group's rapid rise in both Iraq and Syria.

The group has been ceding territory, but still remains a powerful force. In Syria, Kurdish forces backed by US airstrikes have been the main armed ground on the ground taking land from the extremists.

Islamic State controls territory along Turkey's border and recently fended off attacks in that area by Syrian rebel factions.

Last update: Mon, 02/05/2016 - 14:06
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