October 26, 2016

Turkish army, coalition air strikes kill 23 Islamic State fighters in Syria -TV

File photo: Idlib Syria

Artillery fire from Turkey and coalition air strikes killed 23 Islamic State militants in northern Syria, broadcaster Haberturk reported on Monday.

Haberturk said a total of 33 strikes targeted militants thought to be preparing an attack on Turkey.

It did not say when the operation was carried out.

The U.S.-led coalition has stepped up air strikes against Islamic State positions in the area in recent weeks, in response to rocket attacks by the militants on the border town of Kilis.

Kilis, just across the frontier from an Islamic State-controlled region of Syria, has been hit by rockets more than 70 times this year. More than 20 people have been killed and parts of the town reduced to rubble.

Turkey has also increased retaliatory fire but security sources say soldiers with heavy artillery stationed on the border find it difficult to hit the militants, who sometimes fire from the back of vehicles.

NATO member Turkey is also battling a Kurdish insurgency in its mainly Kurdish southeast. It has repeatedly said it needs more help from Western partners to keep Kilis and its Syrian border secure.

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