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Islamic State Militants Seize Villages In Northern Syria

Islamic State (IS) fighters have seized a string of Kurdish villages in northern Syria.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on September 18 that 16 villages were seized in the previous 24 hours around the town of Ayn al-Arab at the border with Turkey.

It said Kurdish fighters defending the town were being encircled in a "pincer movement" by IS militants using artillery and tanks.

The deputy commander of Kurdish forces in Ayn al-Arab, Ocalan Iso, told Reuters that the Kurds were seeking support from other groups, including the armed Kurdish Workers' Party to fend off the advance.

West of Ayn al-Arab, Syrian activists told AP that government helicopter gunships attacked on September 18 the town of Al-Bab held by IS militants, killing at least 12 people and wounding dozens.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP