Kurds retake villages in northeastern Syria

Published February 23rd, 2015 - 06:26 GMT

Kurdish fighters have managed to recapture a number of villages from ISIL terrorists during an offensive in Syria’s northeastern province of Hassakeh, sources say.

Fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) "managed to advance and took over some 20 villages, farms, and hamlets in the area," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday.

The operation, which began late on Saturday, was aimed at retaking the militant-held town of Tal Hamis near the Turkish border and its surrounding areas, the UK-based monitoring group added. At least a dozen terrorists were killed in the battle.

"This is one of the YPG's biggest recent operations," said Newaf Khalil, a spokesman for the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).

Kurdish fighters have been engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL militants in Syria and neighboring Iraq in recent months.

On January 26, the fighters seized the strategic town of Kobani on the border with Turkey and battles have since continued for the recapture of nearby villages.

Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fueled by militant groups has so far claimed the lives of over 210,000 people.

The ISIL militants, with members from several Western countries, control parts of Syria and Iraq, and have been carrying out horrific acts of violence such as public decapitations and crucifixions against all communities.

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