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Kurds capture strategic hill from IS near Syrian town

January 19, 2015

BEIRUT (AP) — An official and an activist group say Kurdish fighters have captured a strategic hill overlooking the Syrian town of Kobani after intense clashes with the Islamic State group.

Kobani-based Kurdish official Idriss Nassan says the hill of Mashta Nour was captured early Monday, adding that there are casualties on both sides.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said members of the main Kurdish militia the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, raised their flag on the hill southeast of the town.

The Observatory and Nassan said that with the capture of Mashta Nour, YPG fighters now overlook supply lines that IS uses to bring in weapons and fighters.

YPG fighters have been advancing in Kobani for weeks with the help of airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi peshmerga fighters.