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The Latest: US service member killed by IED in Syria

Associated Press Associated Press 24/11/2016

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

11:25 p.m.

U.S. officials say an American service member in Syria has died from wounds suffered in a blast from an improvised explosive device.

A statement released Thursday by the public affairs office of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve says the explosion took place in the vicinity of Ayn Issa in northern Syria.

No other information about the explosion or the victim was released.

U.S. troops are part of a multination effort to fight the Islamic State group in the region.

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4:45 p.m.

The Russian military is lashing out at Washington over its call on other nations to deny port access to Russian oil tankers heading to Syria.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday that the U.S. statement represented an attempt to hamper Russia's effort to "fight international terrorism in Syria."

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Wednesday in response to inquiries that countries in the region should not support any Russian tanker ships carrying fuel to be used in airstrikes on civilians.

Konashenkov said the U.S. call was intended to "conceal the failures of the U.S. policy" in Syria, saying Russia has achieved much more with its air campaign in Syria than the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group.

Russia is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and has struck Syrian rebels as well as extremist groups since launching its air campaign more than a year ago.

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3:30 p.m.

A senior U.N. aid official says his team has received written approval from Syrian rebels in the besieged opposition-held parts of the city of Aleppo to allow aid in and evacuate the wounded.

Jan Egeland told reporters in Geneva on Thursday that the U.N. also has "verbal support" from Russia, a main backer of President Bashar Assad, for the four-point plan reached earlier this month on Aleppo.

Egeland says the team is still waiting for approval from the Syrian government, adding that trucks carrying aid could start entering east Aleppo within hours if such approval is received.

East Aleppo is home to some 275,000 people and has been besieged since July, with no food or medical supplies having entered the areas since then.

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11:30 a.m.

The Turkish Armed Forces says three Turkish soldiers were killed and 10 were wounded in Syria by an airstrike allegedly fired by government forces.

A statement from the Armed Forces on its website says the attack took place before dawn on Thursday. The statement did not provide the location for the 3 a.m. strike.

One of the wounded soldiers was said to be in critical condition.

The casualties are likely to ratchet up tensions between Ankara and Damascus. In August, Ankara sent ground troops into northern Syria to support Syrian opposition forces in the fight against Islamic State militants and to curb Syrian Kurdish territorial gains.

The Turkish troops are not fighting Syrian government forces.

Ankara views Syrian Kurdish troops as an extension of the Kurdish insurgency in southeastern Turkey.

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