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U.S.-led raids target ISIS in Syria after Kurdish plea

There were no immediate details on casualties in the raids near the northeastern village of Tal Tamr

Published: Updated:

The U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS launched air strikes against the jihadists in a key Syrian village overnight after Kurdish forces appealed for action, a monitor said Saturday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes near the northeastern village of Tal Tamr were the first by the U.S.-led coalition in the area since an ISIS advance there began in late February.

There were no immediate details on casualties in the raids, which the Britain-based monitor said hit ISIS positions near the village in the northeastern province of Hasakeh.

The strikes came just hours after the Kurdish forces battling to prevent ISIS from seizing Tal Tamr and the nearby border town of Ras al-Ain appealed for international action.

In a statement, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) called on “the international coalition forces to take part in the battle for Tal Tamr.”

The village is one of a number that ISIS has attacked in Hasakeh province since it began an offensive there in late February.

It has so far seized several villages and kidnapped more than 200 Assyrian Christians in the area, prompting thousands of residents to flee to the safety of nearby cities.

Tal Tamr, while small, has strategic value because it lies on a road that runs across the Iraqi border to the east and on to ISIS’ bastion there, Mosul.

It also sits on a road leading north to the Turkish border and the town of Ras al-Ain, which is also under IS assault.

On Friday, YPG spokesman Redur Khalil said ISIS was bringing reinforcements to the Ras al-Ain area and Kurdish fighters there were expecting an “imminent attack.”

The ISIS offensive in Hasakeh came after Kurdish fighters backed by US-led air strikes expelled the jihadist group from the key border town of Kobane.

More than 210,000 people have been killed in Syria since an anti-government uprising that began in March 2011 descended into a civil war that has attracted thousands of foreign jihadists.