Kurds recapture scores of Kobane villages from ISIL

Syrian Kurds retake more than 120 villages around the flashpoint town of Kobane, sources tell Al Jazeera.

    Kurdish fighters say they have recaptured more than 120 villages in northern Syria from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

    Backed by moderate Syrian rebels, Kurdish sources told Al Jazeera on Monday that they made strong gains around the long-contested town of Kobane and had retaken areas near Tal-Abyad and Jarablus, near the Turkish border.

    The sources also said that Kurdish fighters recovered the bodies of more than 350 ISIL fighters inside Kobane.

    Since mid-September, the battle for Kobane has killed at least 1,600 people including Kurdish fighters, ISIL fighters and civilians.

    ISIL seized Kobane in September, and after four months of fierce fighting, Kurdish fighters recaptured the strategic town on January 26.

    In recent days, Kurdish fighters backed by Syrian rebels have pressed the fight on the ground, while a US-led coalition continues to pound ISIL positions.

    The US-led coalition began its operations in Iraq last August and in Syria in September and has carried out at least 2,000 air strikes against the armed group.

    ISIL has seized large swathes of land in both Syria and Iraq, and in June last year announced the establishment of a "caliphate" straddling the two countries.

    The Syrian civil war, which began as a peaceful uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule nearly four years ago, has become a bloody and protracted sectarian conflict killing more than 210,000 people.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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