IS takes control of five Kurdish villages in Syria
Peshmerga forces are battling IS militants in Syria and Iraq. (AFP/File)
Latest reports say the IS militants have seized control of at least five more Kurdish villages in the troubled northern Syria, increasing the number of captured villages there to 21.
Local Kurdish sources say IS militants captured the new areas in a major advance towards the city of Ayn al-Arab bordering Turkey on Thursday.
The new wave of operations by the IS militants started on Wednesday, during which 16 Kurdish villages were seized.
Sources say the IS terrorists used heavy weaponry, including tanks and artillery, during the raids.
Dozens of people have been killed in the ongoing fierce clashes between the IS militants and the Syrian Kurds. The casualties included both militants and the Kurdish military and local residents.
Several militant positions have been pounded by the Syrian army's intensive air and ground attacks in various parts of eastern al-Ghouta, mainly in Jobar.
Eastern al-Ghouta is considered the main stronghold for militants in the east of Damascus.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011, with IS terrorists currently controlling parts of Syria’s east and north. IS also sent its militants into Iraq in June, seizing large swathes of land straddling the border between Syria and Iraq.