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http://www.ukraineenglishnews.com
20151009
An Iranian Revolutionary Guards general has been killed near Aleppo, where he was advising the Syrian army on their battle against Islamic State (IS) fighters, the guards said in a statement on Friday.

The Guards said General Hossein Hamedani was killed on Thursday night and that he had "played an important role ... reinforcing the front of Islamic resistance against the terrorists."

Meanwhile, IS has seized villages close to Aleppo from rival insurgents, a monitoring group said on Friday, despite a Russian air-and-sea campaign that Moscow says has targeted the militant group.

The Russian defense ministry said air strikes on rebel positions in northern Syria had killed 300 anti-Assad insurgents in nearly 70 sorties over the last day. There was no independent confirmation of the death toll.

The RIA news agency said 200 insurgents were killed in an attack on the Liwa al-Haqq rebel group while 100 were killed in Aleppo. Two IS field commanders were among the dead, the defense ministry was quoted as saying.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which monitors the fighting on the ground, said there had been no significant advances by government forces backed by allied militia in areas where ground offensives were launched this week. "It's back and forth," said Rami Abdulrahman, SOHR director.

IS is now within one mile of government-held territory on the northern edge of Aleppo which has suffered widespread damage and disease during the four-year civil war that erupted in the wake of protests against Assad.

Syria's military, backed by Russia, Iran and allied militias, has launched a major attack in Syria's west to recapture land lost to non-IS rebels near the heartland of Assad's minority Alawite sect, an area vital to his survival.................

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