Kurdish forces are on the verge of taking full control of the fiercely-contested Syrian city of Kobane after recapturing several key areas from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Syrian activists and a Kurdish official said.

A Syrian Kurdish official told Al Jazeera that the situation in the town bordering Turkey was getting better and better as a result of the air strikes of a US-led coalition and shelling from Syrian Kurdish fighters.

"Most of the city is free from ISIL forces. We are about to control the city as whole in the coming hours," he said.

The US Department of Defence declined to declare victory in the battle or confirm that ISIL forces had been entirely pushed out.

"I am not prepared to say the battle there is won. The battle continues. But as of now, friendly forces ... I believe, have the momentum," said Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren on Monday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based activist group, quoting what it described as reliable sources, said the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) group had pushed ISIL back towards the eastern strip at the outskirts of the city.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based activist group, quoting what it described as reliable sources, said the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) group had pushed ISIL back towards the eastern strip at the outskirts of the city.

Sources told the monitoring group that ISIL had sent a brigade of 140 members to try to repel the attack - the majority of them under the age of 18 and newly-recruited. 

Syrian Kurdish YPG forces, who have been often backed up by Iraqi Kurdish forces known as peshmerga, are still battling ISIL on the eastern outskirts of the town, the Observatory said.

The Observatory added that the YPG was proceeding carefully because ISIL fighters had planted mines before fleeing the town.

A four-month ISIL siege on Kobane has forced tens of thousands of people to flee across the border to Turkey as US-led forces carried out almost daily air strikes on ISIL positions around the town.

Fighting continues

Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith, who has reported extensively on the battle for the city, said there were reports that ISIL fighters were withdrawing their heavy weaponry from the town. 

"We understand that, at a minimum, Syrian Kurds have got back in control of most of Kobane town," Smith said.

"This battle has become a symbol in the battle against ISIL. It is important for the US that it can show the war can be won through air strikes than ground troops." 

A US-led coalition has backed the YPG, and other groups fighting ISIL in Kobane, with air strikes on ISIL's strategic bases. The coalition began its operations in Iraq last August and in Syria in September. It has carried out at least 2,000 air strikes.

ISIL has seized large swathes of land in both Syria and Iraq, and battles several groups, including Syrian government forces.

Source: Al Jazeera