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Kurdish militias kill 18 IS rebels in Syria

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Damacus, Sep 20 (IANS) At least 18 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed in clashes with Kurdish militias in northern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.

The killing of the IS fighters is part of the ongoing battles between the terror group and the Kurdish militias of People’s Protection Unites (YPG) in the outskirts of the city of Ayn al-Arab in Aleppo province, bordering Turkey, Xinhua reported.

The IS militants have tried advancing towards Ayn al-Arab.

The IS has captured 60 villages since Thursday in the outskirts of Ayn al-Arab, the Observatory said.

Thousands of Syrian Kurds have fled from Ayn al-Arab towards the Turkish borders fearing that the IS may commit massacres in the area.

The Turkish authorities reportedly opened the borders for the fleeing Kurds, most of whom were women, children and elders.

Earlier, Kurdish leaders implored the Kurds in both Iraq and Turkey to help their fellow Kurds in Syria against the wide-scale offensive by the IS militants.

Masoud Barazani, the president of Iraq’s Kurdistan region, Friday urged the international community to "use every means" to protect Ayn al-Arab.

The attacks in Ayn al-Arab come just three days after the YPG fighters recaptured 14 villages in Syria’s northern Qamishli province from the IS militants.

The Syrian Kurds, whose communities largely live in the northern parts of Syria, have been deadlocked in intense battles with IS militants, who have repeatedly tried to storm these areas.

Syrian Kurds account for some 15 percent of the country’s 23 million population.

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