Europe

Turkey: 15 Turkish-backed rebels killed in fighting with IS

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian inspect the site of a suicide attack in Hama, Syria, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said two explosions were heard in Hama, adding that one was a suicide attack near the Baath party office while the nature of the second explosion was not immediately clear. (SANA via AP)

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian inspect the site of a suicide attack in Hama, Syria, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said two explosions were heard in Hama, adding that one was a suicide attack near the Baath party office while the nature of the second explosion was not immediately clear. (SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Turkish military officials say 15 Syrian opposition fighters have been killed in an ongoing battle with Islamic State militants in northern Syria.

The officials also say that about 35 Syrian rebels have been wounded in the fighting, which seeks to capture seven residential districts south of the town of al-Rai. According to a statement emailed Monday, "intense" clashes had taken place in the regions of Boztepe, Hardanah and Turkmen Bari.

The statement says the casualties took place over the last 24 hours.

Turkey sent troops and tanks into Syria in August to help Syrian rebels re-take IS strongholds near the border and curb the advance of Syrian Kurdish militia, which Ankara accuses of links with Turkey's outlawed Kurdish rebels.

Turkish officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.