Islamic State advances near Turkish border and east of Aleppo

BEIRUT – Islamic State seized a hilly area southeast of the Syrian city of Aleppo, it and monitors said on Friday, after making advances near the border with Turkey that the United Nations said forced inhabitants to flee.

The militant jihadist group said in a statement it had gained control over Dureihem and surrounding hills about 65 km (40 miles) southeast of Aleppo, an area that overlooks the government-held town of Khanaser. Syrian state media reported late on Thursday that the army had engaged in operations against Islamic State near Khanaser, inflicting “large losses” on the insurgents. Fighting between the army and Islamic State in the area continued as the government sought to regain control there, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group that tracks Syria’s civil war, said on Friday.



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