ISIL 'recaptures' town from YPG forces in Syria's Raqqa

Activist group says ISIL fighters have seized Ayn Issa, but Syrian Kurdish activists and YPG say fighting still ongoing.

    ISIL 'recaptures' town from YPG forces in Syria's Raqqa
    The UN says at least 120,000 have been displaced due to the fighting in Hasakah province [Getty Images]

    Syrian Kurdish activists and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have denied claims that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has recaptured a Syrian town from Kurdish-led forces near Raqqa city.

    The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday that ISIL forces had taken Ayn Issa and surrounding areas from the YPG, which only seized the town from the armed group's control two weeks ago.

    However, Kurds said that fighting was still going on at the perimeter of the town and some points inside it, just two days after it was pummelled in heavy US-led air strikes.

    Explained: Who are the Kurdish YPG?

    Elsewhere in Syria, deadly clashes took place on Monday between YPG forces and ISIL fighters for control of Syria's northeastern Hasakah province, the observatory reported.

    ISIL claimed it killed at least 50 Kurdish fighters during the clashes on Monday, after they reportedly captured several checkpoints in Hasakah city's suburbs, sources told Al Jazeera.

    Two car bombs exploded near government checkpoints in southern Hasakah, killing at least 11 government forces.

    RELATED: Thousands displaced as battles rage in Syria's Hasakah

    Syrian government warplanes have bombed southern Hasakah repeatedly over the past few days, targeting ISIL strongholds near al-Ahdath prison and an electricity tower.

    ISIL launched its offensive on the northeastern province, which borders Turkey, on June 25.

    ISIL moved closer to Hasakah city last month, but the city remains under opposition and YPG control.

    The UN said at least 120,000 have been displaced due to the fighting within Hasakah city and its surrounding villages.

    Execution in Raqqa

    Earlier on Monday, ISIL released a new video purporting to show the killing of two Syrian men in the armed group's stronghold of Raqqa, allegedly for spying on the group.

    The video, which was posted on an ISIL-linked Facebook page, showed two young men in orange jumpsuits, saying they filmed and photographed ISIL-held areas in Syria and sent footage to a person abroad.

    They identified themselves as 21-year-old Faysal Hussein Habibi and 20-year-old Bishr Abdul-Azim and say they received $400 a month for the filming. The two are then tied to a tree, after which masked gunmen shoot them in the head at close range.

    The video could not be independently verified but it was posted on a page known to be linked to the militant group.


    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Will you push the boundaries or play it safe?

    Will you push the boundaries or play it safe?

    Curate an art exhibition and survive Thailand’s censorship crackdown in this interactive game.