13:27 Oct. 5, 2016
Turkish army and Ankara-backed rebels advance on Islamic state positions in Syria, suffering some losses
Turkey's army said it clashed with Islamic State over the border in Syria, leaving one soldier and 23 militants dead, as Ankara stepped up an "Euphrates Shield", Reuters report. Three other Turkish soldiers were wounded in the encounter near the Syrian village of Ziyara over the past 24 hours, part of Ankara's offensive.
Two Syrian rebel fighters backed by Turkey died in other clashes with Islamic State along the boundary, the Turkish military statement said. The Ankara-backed rebels had seized control of around 980 square km (378 square miles) of territory since "Euphrates Shield" began on Aug. 24, it added.
Separately, U.S.-led coalition warplanes launched nine air strikes on Islamic State targets in northern Syria, killing five further militants, the military said in its daily summary of the Syrian operation.
Earlier at least 15 Turkish-backed Syrian FSA rebels have been killed in clashes with Islamic State militants, as they move on the group's stronghold of Dabiq. A monitoring group reported that the rebels were killed by landmines that exploded while they attempted to secure the village of Turkman Barih. Today local media informed FSA they had finally taken the village and published the video of operation.
Turkey's entry into Syria has raised fears of a further escalation in an increasingly regional conflict, agency adds, but Ankara says its efforts to cleanse its border region of Islamic State militants are legitimate under international law as self-defense after months of rocket attacks and bombings in cities along the boundary.
But the biggest escalation in Syria still comes from Russia and Assad, commencing bloody assault on the city of Aleppo – with limited success at the moment, but heavy losses of civil population due to air war, which is already named a war crime.