BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian troops and allied forces seized an air base in Idlib province on Saturday, pressing their offensive into the country’s largest insurgent stronghold, state television said.

The province in northwest Syria has become a focal point of the war, with government forces taking scores of villages in recent weeks.

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine troops clashed briefly with pro-Islamic State militants in the volatile south on Saturday, the army said, in their first engagement since the government retook Marawi city in the country’s biggest battle since World War Two.

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Chief of the General Staff of the armed forces Valery Gerasimov and his U.S. counterpart Joseph Dunford have discussed the situation in Syria by phone, RIA news agency reported on Saturday, citing the Russian Defence Ministry.

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish warplanes struck positions of a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia in Syria’s Afrin province on Saturday, a senior Turkish official said, in a move likely to drive a deeper wedge between Ankara and the United States.

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