IS militants strip Kurdish fighters of Syrian town

Damacus, July 6 (IANS) Islamic State (IS) militants on Monday captured the town of Ain Issa from Kurdish fighters following a massive assault that left dozens of Kurdish fighters killed, a monitor group reported.
The IS militants fully recaptured the town of Ain Issa and its surrounding areas in the eastern countryside of the northern province of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the IS terror group.

The IS lost the town to the Kurds last month, as part of a series of setbacks the IS suffered at the hands of the Kurdish fighters of the People Protection Units (YPG).

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the terrorist group launched a counter-offensive to retake the town on Monday, targeting the positions of the YPG across a wide area in the town of Alieh in the outskirts of the northeastern province of Hasaka, all the way through northern Raqqa toward the Kurdish city of Kobane, also known as Ayn al-Arab, in northwest Syria.

Dozens of YPG fighters were killed in the IS assault, said SOHR. Another activist group placed the number of dead Kurdish fighters at 50, Xonhua news agency reported.

The importance of Ain Issa emanates from its proximity to the city of Raqaa, the stronghold of the IS. When the town was taken by the Kurds, the IS felt threatened as the YPG fighters were only 30 km from Raqqa city.

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