Eighteen ISIS militants killed fighting Syria Kurds

Kurdish peshmerga troops participate in an intensive security deployment against ISIS militants on the front line in Khazir, September 16, 2014. (Reuters)

 At least 18 militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group were killed in overnight clashes with Kurdish fighters in northern Syria near a strategic border, a monitoring group said Saturday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the 18 militants, reportedly including one of Chinese nationality, were killed in fighting near the town of Ain al-Arab, known to the Kurds as Kobane.

The Observatory said Friday that ISIS militants had seized 60 Kurdish villages near the Turkish border in a lightning two-day campaign as they close in on Ain al-Arab.

The town in Aleppo province is Syria's third largest Kurdish town, and would give ISIS control of a long stretch of the country’s northern border with Turkey.

The fighting in the area has prompted an exodus of residents, many of whom have sought to cross into Turkey, which opened its border on Friday.

The Observatory said the fighting was continuing on Saturday and reported “heavy clashes” in the area around Ain al-Arab.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44