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Sun Dec 21, 2014, 01:29 AM

Kurds advance against IS group in Syria, Iraq

Source: AP-Excite

By BASSEM MROUE

BEIRUT (AP) Kurdish fighters advanced on the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq and Syria on Saturday, pushing into the contested, refugee-packed Sinjar mountains and gaining ground in the embattled Syrian border town of Kobani after heavy clashes, Kurdish officials and an activist group said.

In Syria, Kurdish Democratic Union Party spokesman Nawaf Khalil said Kurdish fighters advanced in six neighborhoods and have besieged the IS-held cultural center east of Kobani. He added that Kurdish fighters captured the Yarmouk school, southeast of Kobani where eight bodies of IS fighters were found.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the main Syrian Kurdish force known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG, killed 10 IS fighters.

The IS group began its Kobani offensive in mid-September, capturing parts of the town as well as dozens of nearby villages. Hundreds of fighters on both sides have been killed since. Kurdish forces have gradually pushed the extremist group back in recent weeks with the help of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.

FULL story at link.



Iraqi Kurdish forces gather on the roof of their makeshift base, as they look upon areas held by Islamic State militants outside of Mosul, less than 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the newly liberated village of Kasr Reej, Iraq, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. Sporadic clashes between Iraqi Kurdish fighters and Islamic State extremists, as well as other logistics problems, are delaying the evacuation of the last Yazidis still trapped on Sinjar mountain, an Iraqi lawmaker said Friday. (AP Photo/Zana Ahmed)

Read more: http://apnews.excite.com/article/20141220/ml--islamic_state-438542c624.html

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