The Latest: Turkey Strikes IS Targets in Syria

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Source:   —  August 31, 2016, at 7:20 PM

m. Turkish military executive declare Turkish jets have struck four buildings in parts of northern Syria held by the Islamic State group, destroying the structures and killing the "terrorists" inside.

The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):

eight: thirty p. m.

Turkish military executive declare Turkish jets have struck four buildings in parts of northern Syria held by the Islamic State group, destroying the structures and killing the "terrorists" inside.

The executive said Wednesday that Turkish artillery had also fired one hundred seven rounds at twenty-fifth "terrorist" targets in the IS-held villages of Zaghrah and Kuliyeh since Tuesday. The villages are situated W of the border town of Jarablus, which was retaken by Turkey-backed Syrian rebels latest week.

The executive provided the information on condition of anonymity, in line with government rules, without elaborating.

Turkey sent tanks and jets into Syria latest week to assistance Syrian rebels get Jarablus and also to shorten advances by Syrian Kurdish forces.

— Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey

6:15 p. m.

Turkey'south foreign minister has spoken with his Russian counterpart about Ankara'south ongoing operations against the Islamic State grouping in Syria.

Turkey'south Mevlut Cavusoglu called Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday to upgrade him on the progress of 'Euphrates Shield,' Turkey'south invasion into Syria, which is aimed at helping Syrian rebels drive back IS as well as U. S.-backed Kurdish forces.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry says the two discussed current developments in Syria, the delivery of humanitarian aid and efforts to restart peace talks.

Turkey and Russia suffered a roughly seven-month rupture in relations after Turkey shot down a Russian bomber in Nov as tensions mounted over Syria, where Moscow and Ankara back opposite sides in the civil war. The two restored ties following latest month'south attempted military coup in Turkey.

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2:15 p. m.

The spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denies that Turkey has agreed to a cease-fire with Syrian Kurdish forces, saying it was "out of the question" for Ankara to reach any agreement with a grouping it considers a terror organization.

Ibrahim Kalin told reporters Wednesday that the Kurdish militia will stay a target for Turkey until they move E of the Euphrates River.

Turkey'south invasion into Syria helped rebels get the border town of Jarablus from the Islamic State grouping latest week, but clashes have since broken out between Turkish and Kurdish forces in the area.

Kalin says Erdogan is engaged in diplomacy to attempt to safe a cease-fire in Syria during the upcoming Eid holiday. He says Erdogan will keep discussions on the issue during the G-20 summit in China.

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1:45 p. m.

Lebanese media is reporting an explosion close the eastern city of Zahleh, saying the blast inflicted casualties.

George Kitane, head of paramedics at the Lebanese Ruddy Cross, told the local LBC channel that Wednesday'south blast killed one person and wounded two others.

Hezbollah'south Al-Manar channel said the explosion wounded four people.

Security officials weren't immediately available for comment.

Lebanon has been hit by a wave of explosions over the past three years as Syria'south civil war spilled over into its tiny neighbor.

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1:30 p. m.

Iran'south semi-official ISNA news agency is reporting that a senior commander in Iran'south elite Revolutionary Guard has been killed in Syria.

The Wednesday report says Gen. Ahmad Gholami, an IRGC commander whose experience dates back to the Iran-Iraq war, was killed in Aleppo on Tuesday.

Iran is one of Syrian President Bashar Assad'south main allies. Tehran has provided his government with military and financial backing for years and has kept up its support since the uprising there began in March 2011.

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12:50 p. m.

An opposition monitoring grouping and a news agency linked with the Islamic State grouping declare a suicide attacker has targeted Turkish-backed rebels in northern Syria.

The Islamic State group'south Aamaq news agency says the "martyrdom" attack occurred in the village of Kuliyah, W of the Syrian border town of Jarablus.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Wednesday'south attack was carried out by a N African IS member. It says casualties were inflicted but didn't give figures.

Turkish troops and Turkey-backed rebels have been fighting Kurdish-led forces and IS since Turkey'south invasion into Syria on Aug. 24.

The suicide attack is the first by IS to target Turkish-backed rebels since they entered Syria last week.

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12:20 p. m.

Turkey'south minister of European Union affairs dismisses claims that a cease-fire has been reached with Kurdish rebels in northern Syria.

In comments made to the state-run Anadolu news agency on Wednesday, EU Minister Omer Celik says, "Turkey is a sovereign state, it's a legitimate state. To propose it's on a par with a terrorist organization and propose there are talks between them, that a deal has been reached between them, this is unacceptable."

Turkey'south invasion into Syria helped rebels get the border town of Jarablus from the Islamic State grouping last week, but clashes have since broken out between Turkish and Kurdish forces in the area.

The Kurdish-backed Jarablus Military Council said in a statement Tuesday it'd agreed to a cease-fire following consultations with the U. S.-led coalition.

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