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Allied airstrikes kill 'Islamic State' militants

At least 32 'Islamic State' militants have been killed and more than 40 wounded in airstrikes in Syria's Raqqa province. The bombings were reportedly carried out by the US-led coalition.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Sunday that more than 15 explosions had hit "Islamic State" (IS) facilities in the group's de facto capital in northeastern Syria.

The US-led alliance began to launch airstrikes over Syria in September last year and has widened its operation in recent weeks, largely due to November's terrorist attacks in Paris.

On Wednesday, the

British parliament voted in favor of joining the coalition's strikes.

Just two days later, German lawmakers also approved plans to join the military action, but in a noncombat role.

'UK will fail'

In an interview with the British newspaper The Sunday Times, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that the UK's

bombing campaign in Syria is "illegal"

and will only cause "terrorism to spread."

"They are going to fail again," Assad said. "You cannot cut out part of the cancer. You have to extract it. This kind of operation is like cutting out part of the cancer. That will make it spread in the body faster."

Millions displaced

For the last three months, Russia, an ally of Assad, has also been carrying out an air campaign in Syria, saying it is targeting "IS" and other extremist groups there. The US, which wants to see Assad ousted, and other Western countries have often voiced fears.

More than 250,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict erupted in March 2011 with protests against Assad's regime. Millions have been displaced, helping to trigger the largest wave of refugees into Europe since World War Two.

ksb/jlw (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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