Syrian Kurdish YPG seizes Daesh-controlled Tal Abyad
Syrians fleeing the war walk towards the border gates at the Akcakale border crossing, in Sanliurfa province on June 15, 2015. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)
Syrian Kurdish fighters seized control on Monday of key border town Tal Abyad from Daesh militants, an AFP photographer reported.
Earlier on Monday, Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters said they had surrounded the border town, located near the Turkish border, according to Reuters.
YPG spokesman Redur Xelil said the militia had encircled Daesh as they pushed along in an offensive supported by US-led coalition airstrikes, seizing strategic territory including the Tel Abyad-Raqqa main road used as Daesh's supply route.
Another 5,000 Syrians were believed to have fled the border into Turkey on Monday, following about 18,000 estimated to have already crossed the border due to the fighting.
In the past week the YPG has made major advances in the southern city, in a key location near the Turkish border and Daesh's de facto capital of Raqqa. The Kurdish units have been sending reinforcements from strongholds in both the Hassakah province, south of Tal Abyad, and Kobani, northwest.
Seizing Tal Abyad links Kurdish-controlled territories in Syria, concerning Turkish authorities who are worried about Kurdish separatism in the country.
The YPG is affiliated with Turkey's Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization in both Turkey and the US.