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Kurds Capture Syrian Town Near Islamic State Stronghold

Kurdish forces and their allies in Syria's northern province of Raqqa have captured a key town from Islamic State (IS) fighters.

The Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG) said on June 23 that Ain Issa and its surrounding villages were now under the militia's "total control."

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said IS defensive lines have now been pushed back to the outskirts of the group's self-proclaimed capital, Raqqa, located 50 kilometers from Ain Issa.

The advance follows the capture of a military base outside Ain Issa late on June 22 and of the town of Tal Abyad on the Turkish border last week.

IS militants have suffered a string of defeats to Kurdish forces since being forced to withdraw from the border town of Kobani in January.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters