Turkish army vehicles drive in a street of the Syrian town of Kobane (aka Ain al-Arab) on February 22, 2015, during an operation to relieve the garrison guarding the Suleyman Shah mausoleum in northern Syria. AFP PHOTO / DEPO PHOTOS / MURSEL COBAN
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Turkish forces swept into Syria overnight to rescue about 40 soldiers who had been surrounded for months by ISIS militants while guarding the tomb of a revered Turkish figure.The action, which involved tanks, drones and reconnaissance planes as well as several hundred ground troops, was the first incursion by Turkish troops into Syria since the start of the war.Normally, the detachment is rotated every six months but the last one was trapped for eight months by ISIS fighters.The tomb, on a site within Syria that Ankara considers sovereign territory as agreed in a 1921 treaty, was to be relocated close to the Turkish border, while Suleyman Shah's remains were taken to Turkey. A Turkish security source said the operation was conducted via the Syrian Kurdish border town of Ain al-Arab with the support of local Kurdish authorities.The Observatory said 10 children and 13 rebels were among 48 people executed by government forces in the village of Ratyan.
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