Middle East

Syrian Kurd forces withdraw from around 60 villages: monitor

File - In Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014 photo, Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga fighters stand guard at a refugee camp in Derike, Syria. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

BEIRUT: Syrian Kurdish forces have withdrawn from around 60 villages in the face of an advance by Islamic State militants in northern Syria, a monitoring group said on Friday.

The Islamic State militants were using heavy weapons including artillery and tanks, said Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A Kurdish official contacted by Reuters said he did not know how many villages had fallen to Islamic State militants but that it had not been that many. He added that a "large number" of villages had turned into war zones and that about 100 villages had been evacuated of civilians for their protection.

 

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