Reuters: U.S.-backed forces advance against Islamic State in Syria
U.S.-backed Syrian forces edged closer to an Islamic State stronghold on the border with Turkey on Saturday while Russia's defense minister visited President Bashar al Assad to discuss military operations.
The visit came only hours after the Syrian army and its Iranian-backed militias, which have been supported by Russian air power, lost several villages to Islamist rebels as they made significant advances in the countryside south of Aleppo.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebel capture of three villages from government control - Zeitan, Khalsa and Barna - had caused significant losses among government forces and their allies.
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WNU Editor: Here is a depressing read on the rise and fall of Aleppo .... one of the oldest cities in the world .... Aleppo: The Rise and Fall of Syria’s Great Merchant City’ (Philip Mansel, Financial Tiems).
Syrian War News Updates -- June 18, 2016
Syrian Rebels Advance On IS Stronghold -- RFE
Hundreds of Kurdish villagers near Manbij taken by ISIS as human shield -- RUDAW
Dodging mines, sniper fire near the IS frontline -- AFP
Syrian army repels major Al-Nusra offensive on Syrian-Turkish border as rebel forces ‘besiege’ ISIS -- RT
Syrian Forces Stop al-Nusra Front Offensive Near Turkish Border -- Sputnik
Syria: Hezbollah suffers highest death toll in battle so far -- Arutz Sheva
Russia bombs U.S.-backed Syrian rebels near Jordan border -- CNN
Syrian militants capture government-held villages in Aleppo -- AP
Aleppo residents scramble to find survivors after air strikes -- NRT
Syrian rebels kill 7 in shelling of Kurdish neighborhood in Aleppo -- VICE News
Rumours of al-Baghdadi's death denting ISIS morale -- RUDAW