ISIS fighters have seized 16 Kurdish villages in northern Syria in a major advance towards the city of Ayn al-Arab at the border with Turkey, a Kurdish military official and an activist group said Thursday.
Ocalan Iso, a commander in Kurdish armed group YPG, told Reuters that ISIS fighters were using heavy weapons including tanks in their attack near the city, known as Kobani in Kurdish. He also said the Syrian Kurds were seeking support from other groups including the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) to fend off the advance by ISIS. Speaking via Skype, he said they wanted support “in all military aspects.”
Rami Abdel-Rahman, founder of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the villages had been seized in an ISIS advance that started Wednesday. “They have a large number of fighters,” he told Reuters by phone.