Kurdish People's Protection Units members drive during a military parade in the Kurdish town of Efrin August 14, 2014. (REUTERS/Boushkin Mohammad Ali)
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Kurdish fighters captured more than a dozen villages from militants of the Islamic State group in heavy fighting across northeastern Syria, an activist group and a Kurdish official said Monday.Kurdish fighters have been repelling the advances of the Islamic State militants for more than a year in northern Syria. The battle-hardened Kurdish force, known by its acronym YPK, has been the most successful at fighting the Islamic State group, which has routed Iraqi and Syrian armed forces. As Syria's fractured rebels have fought a two-front war against President Bashar Assad's forces and the Islamic State group, Kurdish forces seeking greater autonomy have defended their region against the extremist group, occasionally partnering with rebels to beat back the Islamic militants. YPK fighters have captured some 14 villages around the northeastern area of Tal Hamis since the latest round of fighting with the Islamic State group began Saturday, according to the Rami Abdurrahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for Syria's powerful Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, whose members dominate the fighting group.
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