Turkish army kills 55 IS members in Syria: reports
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Turkish army kills 55 IS members in Syria: reports

Ankara shells, destroys jihadist group’s missile launchers near Aleppo following rocket strikes on border town

Turkish artillery fire from the border toward northern Syria, in Kilis, Turkey on Feb. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Halit Onur Sandal)
Turkish artillery fire from the border toward northern Syria, in Kilis, Turkey on Feb. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Halit Onur Sandal)

Turkish forces launched a salvo of artillery strikes on northern Syria that killed 55 members of the Islamic State group, Turkish news agencies reported on Sunday.

Artillery units stationed near the border struck IS group targets near Aleppo on Saturday evening, destroying three missile launchers and three vehicles according to the state-run Anatolia news agency and the Dogan news service.

The reports could not immediately be independently verified.

Since the start of the year, the Turkish border town of Kilis has come under frequent attack from rockets fired across the border from Syria that have killed at least 21 people, prompting the army to respond with howitzer fire.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said this week that Turkey is ready to send troops into Syria “if necessary.” Turkey has previously discussed a land invasion but ruled out intervening alone.

Turkey, which has been hit by attacks blamed on jihadists, including two deadly suicide bombings in Istanbul that targeted foreign tourists, began to carry out airstrikes against the IS group in Syria last summer.

Ankara also allows US jets to use its air base in southern Turkey for air strikes on the extremist group in Syria.

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