Air strikes by a US-led coalition against the Islamic State group (also known as ISIS or Daesh) in northeastern Syria have killed around 170 jihadists in the past 48 hours, a monitoring group said Tuesday.
"The jihadists were killed in the past 48 hours in the province of Hasakeh, nearly all of them in very intense air strikes by the international coalition which is helping Kurdish forces in the area," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Kurdish People's Protection Unit (YPG) militia has been making steady gains against ISIS, gaining considerable momentum after liberating the town of Kobane on the border with Turkey.
Kobane became a symbol of Kurdish resistance to ISIS after its embattled, outgunned and outnumbered defenders succeeded in holding out against a massive jihadist onslaught, and eventually pushing back ISIS with the help of US airstrikes and Kurdish peshmerga reinforcements from Iraq.
Since then Kurdish forces have taken hundreds of villages and other positions from IS forces in parts of northern Syria Kurds call "Rojava," or Western Kurdistan.
In both Syria and Iraq it is the Kurds - who have long campaigned for independence or autonomy - who have proven the most effective military force against ISIS.
The US-led airstrikes come as Syrian regime forces continue to battle ISIS around the ancient city of Palmyra, part of which the jihadists briefly occupied before being ousted by the Syrian army and allied militias.
But another ISIS offensive - this one in the Iraqi city of Ramadi - succeeded, pushing Iraqi army troops from the provincial capital of Anbar in Baghdad's biggest defeat since retaking Tikrit from Islamic State.
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