Kurdish forces in the contested border town of Kobane have killed at least 22 suspected Islamic State militants, according to local officials.
According to officials in the region, Kurdish fighters have killed at least 22 jihadists around Kobane, days after recapturing the Syrian town. However, the Islamic State (IS) still controls hundreds of villages in the area, a monitor said.
“Nineteen Islamic State members were killed in fighting against the (Kurdish) People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the hills surrounding Manaz to the west of Kobane,” said Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman.
“Another three jihadists died in fighting around villages to the east of Kobane, while the YPG also took one IS member prisoner,” he told press.
Kurdish forces recaptured the town on the Turkish frontier on Monday, in a symbolic blow to the jihadists who have seized large swathes of territory in their onslaught across Syria and Iraq.
The YPG had also recaptured five villages around Kobane this week, according to Abdel Rahman, whose Britain-based group relies on a network of sources inside Syria.
“Another 350 villages remain under IS control,” he said, referring to settlements in the area around Kobane.
One civilian was also killed in the fighting.
“IS shelling in the western countryside of Kobane killed a civilian,” said Abdel Rahman, who has repeatedly stressed that the fight for the Kobane area is far from over.
Journalists who have entered Kobane, which is known in Arabic as Ain al-Arab, have reported seeing pulverized buildings and heavily armed fighters roaming otherwise deserted, rubble-strewn streets.