Kurdish People’s Protection Units [YPG] won control of a group of villages from the Islamic State in A-Raqqa province on Sunday in preparation for attacking an IS-controlled city on the Turkish border, a member of the pro-opposition media campaign Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently told Syria Direct Monday.
The operation is “the beginning of the battle to free [the city of] Tel Abyad,” said Hamoud Abu Mousa, the alias of the activist. The villages are located 45 kilometers south of Tel Abyad along the international highway to Raqqa city, the de facto IS capital in Syria, reported the London-based news agency Arabi 21. YPG forces killed at least 30 IS members in the fighting, reported the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. In addition to the villages, the YPG, fighting alongside local FSA-affiliated battalions, managed to take a cement plant and a weapons warehouse from IS with the help of US airstrikes, said Abu Mousa. The YPG and FSA have repeatedly coordinated with each other to combat IS’s control in the region.