By Mariam Karouny BEIRUT (Reuters) - Kurdish forces dealt a blow to Islamic State by capturing an important town on Friday in the latest stage of a powerful offensive in northeast Syria, a Kurdish militia spokesman said. Islamic State has been forced into retreat across parts of the strategic region, a land bridge between territory it controls in Syria and Iraq, even as its fighters have mounted new raids this week on Assyrian Christian villages, abducting more than 200 people. The capture of Tel Hamis was announced by the Kurdish YPG militia and confirmed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the country's civil war. "The flag is flying over Tel Hamis. We are now combing the city for terrorists and mines," militia spokesman Redur Xelil told Reuters. "Daesh continue to have a considerable number of territories and forces. But we can say we have stopped its advance," Xelil said, using the Arabic acronym of Islamic State The British-based Observatory said Kurdish forces killed at least 175 members and commanders of the ultra-hardline Islamist militants in an offensive which began last weekend. "The bodies of these fighters are still with the Kurdish militants," said the Observatory's head Rami Abdulrahman. He said the Kurds, with backing from U.S.-led air strikes, have taken at least 103 villages in the area and are now in the village of Suleima on the border with Iraq. The United States and its allies have carried out hundreds of air strikes in Iraq and Syria since launching a campaign to "degrade and destroy" Islamic State, which last year declared a "caliphate" on territory it has captured in both countries. The U.S.-led coalition has launched 20 strikes against Islamic State in Syria since early Thursday, its Combined Joint Task Force said on Friday. TOUGH FOE The Kurdish YPG militia has been one of Islamic State's toughest enemies in Syria. Last month it flushed the group out of Kobani on the Turkish border, breaking the militants' four-month siege of the town with the help of U.S. and allied air support and Iraqi Kurdish reinforcements on the ground. Since then, Kurdish forces backed by other Syrian armed groups have pursued Islamic State fighters as far their provincial stronghold of Raqqa. But while the group has shown signs of strain after the Kobani battle, it is far from collapsing. This week it abducted at least 220 Assyrian Christians in the region of Tel Tamr, about 100 km (60 miles) west of Tel Hamis, according to the Observatory. Their fate remains unclear. "We do not know what happened or is happening to them, a prominent Syrian Christian, Bassam Ishak, told Reuters. "There are attempts from some church members to engage in negotiations but we do not how fruitful it will be." Syria's foreign ministry sent letters to the United Nations Secretary-General and Security Council regarding the attacks, appealing for international cooperation. "The international community should confirm its commitment to fighting terrorism .. through coordinating with Syria, which is standing as an impervious dam against the spread of international terrorism," state news agency SANA quoted the foreign ministry as saying. While bent on destroying Islamic State, the United States refuses to ally itself with President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's civil war. More than 200,000 people have been killed since 2011 in the conflict, which pits Assad's forces against an array of jihadist and other rebel factions. Washington on Wednesday condemned the attacks against Christians, which it said included the burning of homes and churches and abduction of women, children and the elderly. Islamic State has staged mass killings of religious minorities, including Yazidis in Iraq and Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya, as well as fellow Sunni Muslims who refuse to swear allegiance to its caliphate. (Reporting by Mariam Karouny; additional reporting by Tom Perry; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
Looks like someone understood the assignment!
Kylie Jenner just won Leo season.
- Entertainment Weekly
The show's shop manager broke her silence after History Channel confirmed the longtime cohost wouldn't be returning.
The Keeping Up with the Kardashians alum put her most famous asset on display in new Instagram photos
Best of both worlds.
- In The Know
Being a teacher is hard enough as it is.
- In The Know
Woman slams auto shop after employee allegedly kicked her out over her 'inappropriate' top: 'I didn't think it mattered'
A TikToker is accusing a car inspection station of asking her to wait outside because her shirt was "too inappropriate."
- The Daily Beast
NCISA 20-year-old sailor with a grudge against the U.S. Navy and a failed attempt at becoming a Navy SEAL under his belt is accused of setting an amphibious assault ship ablaze and singlehandedly costing the Navy $30 million in damage.According to an NCIS search warrant affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast, Ryan Sawyer Mays aroused the suspicions of investigators almost immediately after the 40,000-ton USS Bonhomme Richard went up in flames on July 12, 2020, burning for nearly five days and lea
Bill is worth $130 billion, just FYI.
Go Inside Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo's 'Perfect Sanctuary' Home: 'We Didn't Want a Palatial McMansion'
Adam Levine says the home he and wife Behati Prinsloo bought from Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner for $32 million in 2019 is "a genuine unicorn"
- NBC Sports EDGE
Aaron Robinson takes a look at the biggest winners and losers after the first 24 hours of NBA free agency. What team's have made the biggest splash? (Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports)
- In The Know
Woman allegedly catches her neighbor's disturbing behavior outside her window: 'Pretty sure this is illegal'
She said this is why she keeps her curtains closed.
- Hoops Hype
The Los Angeles Lakers always generate a ton of headlines but this year, that has happened even more as they have added several big names.
- Miami Herald
“It’s purely political at its core.”
- The Daily Beast
Chip Somodevilla/GettyThe prophecy failed in December, in January, and in March. Twice.But now, claim conspiratorial fans of Donald Trump, the fabled month is finally upon us. In August, some of the most fringe voices in the ex-president’s sprawling universe of followers and adjacent conspiracists still seem to think Trump will be reinstated.That is, if the conspiracy theory’s author doesn’t reschedule again.When Trump lost re-election in November, he and some of his more stalwart supporters ins
- ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports
Before training camp got started, a schism was emerging among members of the Buffalo Bills over the issue of the COVID vaccine. At one point, receiver Cole Beasley and defensive end Jerry Hughes squared off on social media. Beasley argued against the vaccine, Hughes argued in favor of it. Peter King explained in his Football [more]
It’s definitely not something we think about often, but we’d be lying if we said the royal family members ’ heights haven’t crossed our mind...
Sweden and Canada have asked Olympic organisers to move what is expected to be a hotly-contested women's gold-medal soccer match on Friday at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium to later in the day to avoid the sweltering heat of the Japanese summer. "I myself have been in contact with (soccer governing body) FIFA today and written to them, so that's about where the situation is today," Marika Domanski Lyfors, the head of Sweden's women's team, told reporters. The Swedish Football Association (SvFF) said it had also written to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) together with Canada to see if the game could be moved.
Online creator Chris Chan arrested on incest charge after leaked audio alleged she had sex with her mother
Christine Weston Chandler, known online as Chris Chan, was arrested on a charge of incest on Sunday after a leaked call spread online.
John Corbett and Bo Derek have been dating since 2002 and were previously open about their decision not to get married