Syrian Kurds retake key town from Islamic State
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Syrian Kurds retake key town from Islamic State

Tal Abyad, on border with Turkey, served as channel for arms, weapons, and black market oil to jihadists

File: Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters wave their movement's flag and cheer as they parade in the northeastern Syrian town of Qamishli after returning from battling Islamic State group jihadists in Tal Abyad on the border with Turkey, June 24, 2015. (AFP/Delil Souleiman)
File: Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters wave their movement's flag and cheer as they parade in the northeastern Syrian town of Qamishli after returning from battling Islamic State group jihadists in Tal Abyad on the border with Turkey, June 24, 2015. (AFP/Delil Souleiman)

BEIRUT — Syrian Kurdish forces regained full control of Tal Abyad on Wednesday, expelling Islamic State group fighters who had seized a district of the strategic border town, a monitor said.

“Kurdish fighters expelled IS from the Mashur al-Fawqani district that they had captured yesterday (Tuesday),” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

He said at least three fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and four IS jihadists were killed in clashes on Wednesday.

Tal Abyad, on the border with Turkey, was formerly an IS stronghold, which served as a key conduit for the group to bring in weapons and fighters, and export black market oil.

But just over two weeks ago, Kurdish forces, backed by Syrian rebel allies and US-led air strikes, seized the town from the extremist group.

IS forces launched a surprise attack against the town on Tuesday, overrunning the Mashur al-Fawqani district in heavy fighting.

But by late Wednesday morning, the town was back under full Kurdish control, the Observatory said.

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