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Ankara Intensifies Raids in Northern Syria Killing 18 ISIS Hardliners | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Modal Trigger A rebel fighter carries a rocket before firing it at Hama military airport, controlled by forces loyal to the Assad regime.Photo: REUTERS

Beirut- The Turkish military intervention in Syria, code-named by Operation Euphrates Shield, had intensified its air campaigning on Saturday, providing air cover for ally ground troops to make a dashing advance towards an ISIS-held area.

At least 18 ISIS hardliners have been reportedly killed by the raids in the past 24 hours. According to a statement made by the British based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syrian rebel forces have restored control over six additional villages located in Aleppo’s rural outskirts, extending opposition control to 18 villages since Nov.8.

The Turkish army stated that the air strikes have leveled down four ISIS-held buildings and a vehicle. Casualties included the reported death of five Turkey-backed Syrian rebels, and five ISIS militants who died of fighting and fire exchange.

Six other raids were staged in the same area by the U.S.-led international coalition in Syria.

More so, a rebel-launched offensive to retake Aleppo, called the “epic battle,” had recorded the steady advance of opposition forces, gaining control over wider territory.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the ongoing clashes escorted by intensifying raids over northeastern Aleppo rural terrain.

Eight other U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces were reported killed by the fighting, however, ISIS still holds on to their bodies.

“The revolutionary factions have expelled pro-Assad forces from several neighborhoods, and continued their advance towards western Aleppo,” rebel spokesman Saleh al-Zein told ARA News.

“Soon the regime-imposed siege on eastern Aleppo will be lifted, by force,” the spokesman said.

The rebel offensive targeted regime-held areas in western Aleppo, Syria’s northern capital.