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US-led coalition air strikes kill 20 Islamic State militants in Syria

Turkey pushed on with the Syrian operation as Iraqi forces launched a US-backed offensive to expel IS from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Photograph: (AFP)

Reuters Ankara, Turkey Oct 18, 2016, 07.57 AM (IST)

At least 20 Islamic State militants were killed in a United States-led coalition air strikes in the last 24 hours, the Turkish military said today. 

As Turkey pushed on in Syria, Iraqi forces launched a US-backed attack on Islamic state militants in northern Iraq's city of Mosul. 

Eleven air strikes hit Syria, targeting areas of Kar Kalbayn, Ghuz, Hassajik and Tiltanah. Two IS defensive positions and three vehicles were struck during the attack, the Turkish army said. 

Turkish jets also carried out air strikes, increasing the intensity of the onslaught, Reuters quoted the army saying. 

The Turkey-backed offense, called 'Euphrates Shield' was started on August 24. Since then they have captured some 1,240 square kilometers of territory from the militants. 

Since the Turkey-backed operation, dubbed 'Euphrates Shield', was launched on August 24, the rebel forces have seized control of some 1,240 square kilometers (479 square miles) territory from the jihadists, according to the statement.

Ankara says thousands of Turkey-trained forces are also participating in the assault to push IS out of Mosul, despite a row with Baghdad over the presence of Turkish forces in Iraq.

(WION with inputs from Reuters)

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