Islamic State takes ground from Syrian Kurds after air strikes

BEIRUT – Islamic State fighters stormed a Syrian town held by Kurdish-led forces near Raqqa city on Monday, part of a wider offensive by the militants two days after their de facto capital was hit by some of the heaviest US-led air strikes in the conflict. The Kurdish YPG militia said it was fighting to expel Islamic State fighters who had attacked the town of Ain Issa, which was only captured

from them two weeks ago with aerial support from the US-led military alliance. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reports on the war, said Islamic State forces had taken the town and areas around it some 50 km (30 miles) north of Raqqa city. Air strikes at the weekend destroyed seven bridges over waterways in Raqqa, which is bordered to the south by the Euphrates river, it said. Monday’s attack on Ain Issa was part of a coordinated Islamic State offensive on YPG positions that also targeted the northeastern province of Hasaka, bordering Turkey to the north and Iraq to the south, YPG spokesman Redur Xelil said.



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