Syria's Kurds kill 175 IS militants
The Kurdish People`s Protection Units (YPG) killed 175 IS militants and captured a contested Syrian town in the al-Hasaka province after week-long battles with the Islamic State terrorists, a monitoring group reported on Friday.
Damascus: The Kurdish People`s Protection Units (YPG) killed 175 IS militants and captured a contested Syrian town in the al-Hasaka province after week-long battles with the Islamic State terrorists, a monitoring group reported on Friday.
The YPG entered the town of Tal Hamis after the six-day-long battles, which has also resulted in the YPG capturing around 103 villages from the IS in northeastern Syria all the way toward the Iraqi borders, Xinhua news agency reported citing the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The battles fought by the YPG and affiliated groups were focused in the countryside of Tal Hamis and Jaza`a, where the Kurdish militants, backed by the air campaign of the US-led anti-terror coalition, succeeded in defeating the IS in many positions in that predominantly Kurdish part of the war-torn country, according to the Britain-based observatory.
The Kurds, who comprise some 15 percent of Syria`s 23 million population with most living in the north of the embattled country, tried during the conflict to keep their areas immune to military operations and retain their "autonomy".
In mid-2012, Syrian troops withdrew from the majority of the Kurdish areas, and Kurdish militia became responsible for security there.
However, the IS militants unleashed a wide-scale offensive against a main Kurdish city in northern Syria in late 2014, plunging the predominantly Kurdish areas in the north into deadly battles.
Still, the Kurdish militants backed by their fellow Iraqi Kurds and covered by the US-led strikes succeeded in pushing the IS out of the city of Kobane, or Ayn al-Arab, prompting the terrorist group to unleash attacks in the countryside of Hasaka, also dominated by Syrian Kurds.
The IS targeted the minority Christian Assyrians in that area, kidnapping hundreds of them and setting some of their churches on fire.
Earlier on Friday, media said the Syrian air force targeted IS positions in the countryside of Tal Tamr which is considered the capital of the Syrian Assyrians in the countryside of Hasaka.