By Suleiman Al-Khalidi and Tom Perry AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.S.-backed Syrian rebels were pushed back from the outskirts of an Islamic State-held town on the border with Iraq and a nearby air base on Wednesday after the jihadists mounted a counter- attack, two rebel sources said. The New Syria Army rebel group had launched an operation on Tuesday aimed at capturing the town of Al-Bukamal from Islamic State and cutting supply and communications lines for the group between Syria and Iraq, the U.S. coalition fighting IS said. One rebel source said Islamic State fighters had encircled the rebels in a surprise ambush.
The United Nations Security Council agreed on Wednesday to add just over 2,500 peacekeepers to the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali, which has been hit by a series of deadly attacks and has become the deadliest place to serve for U.N. peacekeepers. The French-drafted resolution, which was approved unanimously by the 15-nation council, said the Mali peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA) should "take all necessary means to carry out its mandate ... (and) to move to a more proactive and robust posture." The increase will bring the force's maximum size to 13,289 military personnel and 1,920 police.