Kurdish fighters rout IS from Syria's Tal Abyad

Kurdish fighters rout IS from Syria's Tal Abyad
2 min read
01 July, 2015
A surprise IS assault on Tal Abyad on Tuesday has been foiled and Kurdish and rebel fighters take back full control of the town.
Thousands of civilians flocked back into Tal Abyad from Turkey last week [AFP]

Kurdish forces have taken full control of the northern Syrian town of Tal Abyad from the Islamic State group (IS, formerly known as ISIS).

The extremist group launched a surprise attack Tal Abyad - which lies on the Syrian-Turkish border - on Tuesday.

Fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) managed to retake Mashur al-Fawqani district, where the last IS militants were holed up, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Three Kurdish militants and four IS assailants were killed in the attack on Wednesday.

Under control

Redur Khalil, YPG spokesperson, confirmed that the whole town was now under Kurdish control.

"[IS militants] that entered the Mashur al-Fawqani district... were eliminated completely and expelled from the area," he said.

IS took control of Tal Abyad in June 2014, when the group launched a blitzkrieg campaign in Iraq and Syria, capturing vast territory and establishing an "Islamic State". 

Two weeks ago, fighters from the YPG and Free Syrian Army took the city and have been inching closer to the IS' self-proclaimed capital, Raqqa.

The border town was a vital logistics base for the group, allowing IS to export black market oil and bring in foreign fighters from over the border in Turkey.

     IS militants were eliminated completely and expelled from the area.
Redur Khalil, YPG spokesperson


IS launched a "Ramadan offensive" at the start of the holy month, aimed at recapturing lost ground.

A new IS-assault on Kobane failed, although the attack left hundreds of civilians and Kurdish fighters dead.

Clashes

In the ethnically and religiously mixed city of al-Hassakeh, fighting between the Syrian regime and IS has been ongoing since the 23 June.

IS managed to make a foothold in the south of the city, although a regime counteroffensive have pushed back the extremists and reinforcements are said to have arrived. 

Clashes took place last night in the southern neighbourhood of Gweiran with reports of casualties on both sides.

There have also been reports that IS militants kidnapped civilians in the city.

Damascus is also fighting off renewed rebel campaign in the south of the country.

Rebel groups' launched the Storm of the South offensive to capture Daraa province, while the regime responded by bombing rebel-held areas in Syria causing dozens of casualties. 

Activists say that many of the air raids have involved barrel bombs.

Yesterday, regime aircraft bombed a packed marketplace in Douma, close to Damascus, while shoppers prepared to break their fast. At least ten were killed.

Fighting between rebels and the regime continued across the country including Aleppo, Latakia and Hama.

The Lebanese army reportedly killed five rebel militants, they believed were trying to cross into Arsal, where the military has been engaged in a military campaign against IS and al-Nusra Front.