NEW DELHI: United States-led forces, in the latest campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants, conducted 55 airstrikes over five days, hitting buildings, vehicles, tanks, and fighting units in militant strongholds in Syria and Iraq. This included attacks in and around the city of Raqqa, the IS’ self proclaimed capital in Syria.

A statement released by the US Central Command, CENTCOM, says that in Syria, “17 airstrikes near Kobani destroyed two IS-occupied buildings, three IS tanks, three IS fighting positions, an IS armored personnel carrier, three IS vehicles and two IS staging areas, and also struck seven tactical IS units.” The statement added that near Aleppo, a US airstrike struck a target associated with a network of veteran Al-Qaeda operatives, sometimes called the "Khorasan Group.”

In Iraq, 13 airstrikes near Mosul destroyed four tactical IS units, two large IS units, two fighting positions, three armored vehicles, seven vehicles, two IS trucks, and a bulldozer. A CENTCOM statement added that near Tal Afar, five airstrikes destroyed 19 IS vehicles, two IS bunkers, an IS compound and hit a tactical IS unit.

The airstrikes were conducted by coalition nations, which in Iraq, include the US, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In Syria, this includes the US, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Interestingly, a recent report in the Huffington Post quotes an anonymous defence officials saying that Iran has been operating against the Islamic State in Iraq. According to the paper, the official noted that the Iranian bombing has been taking place near the Iranian border, in a different part of Iraq than most US and coalition activity. "We are aware of that. I wouldn't say we're necessarily concerned with it -- we kind of have our eyes on it," the Huffington Post quoted the official as saying.

Meanwhile, an Egyptian court designated the Islamic State group as a "terrorist" group on Sunday. The court added that all affiliated groups -- including Sinai based Ansar Beit al-Maqdis that pledged allegiance to the IS a few weeks ago -- are by extension considered terrorist outfits.

In another development, the US and Turkey narrowed their differences on the operation against IS militants in Syria, with Turkey agreeing to give the US and its coalition partners permission to use Turkish air bases to launch strike operations against Islamic State targets across northern Syria.

The deal comes as a compromise was struck on Turkey’s demand for a no-fly zone across one-third of northern Syria. Instead, a narrower safe zone along the border has been agreed to that will be off-limit to Syrian aircraft.

The deal also follows reports from Kurdish officials that Islamic State militants mounted an offensive on Kobani -- the strategic Syrian Turkish border town that has been under siege for months -- from the Turkish side of the town. The reports indicated that the town, where Kurdish forces assisted by coalition airstrikes have been resistance the militants advance, was surrounded by all sides.

Turkey, however, denied the reports. A statement from Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's office reaffirmed that Turkish security forces have taken "all necessary precautions" along the border and that militants did not use the country’s territory to launch an attack.