Turkey offers joint anti-IS strikes with Russia - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Turkey offers joint anti-IS strikes with Russia

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BEIRUT (AP) -- The Latest on the developments in civil war (all times local) 2:20 p.m.:

Turkey's foreign minister says his country has called on Russia to carry out joint operations against the Islamic State group in Syria.

Mevlut Cavusoglu's comments came on Thursday, days after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited St. Petersburg for talks with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Cavusoglu says: "On the issue of Daesh, we have made a call to Russia. We said we have a common enemy which we can struggle against together." Dauesh is an Arabic language acronym for the Islamic State group.

A Turkish delegation made up of foreign ministry, intelligence and military officials were scheduled to hold discussions on finding a common ground on the Syria crisis
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   2:15 p.m.

A Syrian military official is denying allegations of a chlorine gas attack against an opposition-held district in the contested city of Aleppo.

The official said Thursday that militants had fabricated the news and stressed that the Syrian army would never use chemical weapons.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to give official statements.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported earlier that government barrel bombs struck the rebel-held Zabadieh neighborhood in Aleppo, killing two people and afflicting several others with breathing difficulties.

The Observatory made no mention of chlorine gas.

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   2 p.m.

Turkey's foreign minister says his country will resume its airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, months after they were suspended following a major row with Moscow.

Mevlut Cavusolgu said in interview with Turkey's private NTV television on Wednesday that Ankara "will again, in an active manner, with its planes take part in operations" against IS targets.

Turkey had temporarily suspended its limited participation in the airstrikes campaign by the U.S.-led coalition, following soured relations with Moscow after Turkish air force jets downed a Russian warplane on the Syrian border in November.

Russia had retaliated by deploying long-range air defense missile systems to its base in Syria, 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of the border with Turkey and imposing an array of economic sanctions.

Cavusolgu's announcement comes after Russia and Turkey agreed to mend ties this week.
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   1:45 p.m.

A Syrian activist group says there has been no letup to the fighting between rebels and government forces in the contested city of Aleppo despite a three-hour ceasefire declared by the Russian military, which is fighting alongside the government.

Rami Abdurrahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says the parties are clashing in the southwestern neighborhood of Ramouseh, which rebels seized from government forces last weekend.

Residents of opposition-held eastern Aleppo are reporting near-constant fighter jet overflights on Thursday.

Wissam Zarqa says via a messaging service that he is at "home and I don't dare to leave -- the jets are not letting up."
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   11 a.m.

A Syrian rescue worker says three civilians, a mother and two children, died in a suspected chlorine gas attack on an opposition-held district in the city of Aleppo.

Khaled Harah, a first responder, says a government helicopter dropped four barrel bombs on Wednesday night on the neighborhood of Zabadieh and that one of them released chlorine gas.

The report, which was posted online on Thursday, could not be independently verified and it was not clear how it was determined that chlorine gas was released.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group that tracks the civil war in Syria, also reported that government barrel bombs struck the neighborhood. It had reports of two killed and several people suffering breathing difficulties.

The Observatory made no mention of chlorine gas.

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