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The Latest: Russian bombers strike IS in northern Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the war in Syria (all times local):

5 p.m.

The Russian military says that its strategic bombers have struck the Islamic State group in eastern Syria. The Defense Ministry said in a statement that the Tu-95 bombers that flew from their base in Russia launched long-range cruise missiles Friday at the IS facilities near the group’s main stronghold of Raqqa.

It added that the missiles successfully hit the IS training camps and a control facility of one of the militant units. The ministry said fighter jets from a Russian air base in Syria escorted the bombers.

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The raid followed other missions flown by Russia’s long-range bombers against the IS targets in the past weeks.

Russia has conducted an air campaign in Syria since September 2015, helping Syrian government forces to reverse the tide of the nearly six-year-old conflict.


3:30 p.m.

The Syrian government and an opposition monitoring group have condemned what they call Turkey’s “crimes” against the Syrian people in the northern town of al-Bab that is controlled by the Islamic State group.

Turkish troops and allied opposition fighters have been on the offensive in al-Bab for weeks trying to take it from IS, a battle that has killed hundreds of people so far.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Turkish shelling and airstrikes have killed 45 people in al-Bab since Wednesday.

Turkey wants to clear the area near its border of IS militants.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Friday condemned what it called Turkey’s violations of Syria’s sovereignty.

The condemnation was expressed in two letters addressed to the U.N. Secretary-General and President of the Security Council.

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