February 29, 2016 / 2:56 PM / 2 years ago

Turkish artillery hit Islamic State positions in Syria on Sunday, official says

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish artillery hit as many as 10 Islamic State targets inside Syria on Sunday, a military official said on Monday.

Up to 50 rounds were fired between 2 and 3 p.m. (1200-1300 GMT), the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Turkish broadcaster NTV said the targets were to the north of Aleppo.

Militants from the Islamist group had launched an assault on Sunday on the Kurdish-controlled town of Tal Abyad on Syria’s border with Turkey.

Warplanes belonging to an international U.S.-led coalition responded with 10 air strikes to try to repel them, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. It said at least 45 Islamic State militants and 20 Kurdish militia fighters had been killed.

While a U.S.- and Russian-sponsored “cessation of hostilities” came into effect in Syria over the weekend, the Syrian government, Russia and the U.S.-led coalition reserve the right to continue attacks against Islamic State or the al Qaeda affiliate the Nusra Front.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that the ceasefire covered only one third of Syria, but that he hoped it would be expanded to the whole country.

The countries sponsoring the Syria peace process met in Geneva on Monday amid complaints that the cessation of hostilities was unraveling, with France demanding information about reports of attacks on rebel positions.

Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz and Ece Toksabay; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk and David Dolan; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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