Syrians Make Gains Against IS

Syrians Make Gains Against ISSyrians Make Gains Against IS

Kurdish-led forces in Syria seized a town from IS on Tuesday after capturing a military base overnight while Syrian state television said on Wednesday the army and allied militia had secured the perimeter of an oilfield near the central city of Palmyra in some of the most dramatic gains yet against the militants.

The Kurdish march deep into the heart of IS territory follows their capture of a town on the Turkish border last week, halting the momentum of militants who had seized major towns in both Syria and Iraq last month, World Bulletin reported.

The Kurdish YPG-led forces had taken full control of Ain Issa, said Redur Xelil, a spokesman for the group. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said IS insurgents had completely withdrawn from the town.

The advance to Ain Issa brings the Kurdish forces and smaller Syrian groups fighting alongside them to just 50 km from Raqqa city, the de facto capital of IS.

In a separate battle, the Syrian military and militias fighting alongside it have gained ground to the northwest of the city of Palmyra, which IS captured from government control last month, according to the observatory and a source in Syria briefed on the situation.

The Syrian army took control of the area surrounding Jazal Field, territory that contains important sites for energy production in Homs province, and killed a number of IS militants.

The advance appeared to be an attempt to shore up defense lines near Palmyra, an IS-seized city home to Roman ruins listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.