[Ed. – Oh, yeah, we’re grinding ISIS into dust here with these “stepped-up” air strikes.]
The Kurdish YPG militia said it was fighting to expel Islamic State fighters who had attacked the town of Ain Issa, which was only captured from them two weeks ago with aerial support from the US-led military alliance.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reports on the war, said Islamic State forces had taken the town and areas around it some 50 kilometres north of Raqqa city.
It said at least 37 Islamic State fighters were killed and scores injured in US-led air strikes and in clashes with Kurdish YPG militia.
Air strikes at the weekend destroyed seven bridges over waterways in Raqqa, which is bordered to the south by the Euphrates river, the Observatory said.
Monday’s attack on Ain Issa was part of a coordinated Islamic State offensive on YPG positions that also targeted the north-eastern province of Hasaka, bordering Turkey to the north and Iraq to the south, YPG spokesman Redur Xelil said. ,,,
Ain Issa, one of the YPG-held areas targeted on Monday, sits on a major east-west highway that runs all the way from Aleppo in the west to the Iraqi city of Mosul.
YPG-led forces said they had captured Ain Issa on June 23 as part of an offensive that drove deep into Islamic State’s stronghold of Raqqa province.