Islamic State group fighters regain control of Syrian town

AP News
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Posted: Jul 06, 2015 8:45 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — The Islamic State group has regained control of a northern Syrian town captured by Kurdish fighters two weeks ago, activists and IS-linked social media outlets reported Monday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said IS fighters seized Ein Issa and nearby areas before noon Monday.

The fall of the town — described as being "liberated" on IS-associated outlets — comes after the main Kurdish militia known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG, captured wide areas in northern Syrian from the extremists, including the border town of Tal Abyad, once a main point for IS trade and smuggling in of foreign fighters.

In another push, IS fighters last month attacked the northern Syrian town of Kobani, killing more than 200 people in the town that became a symbol of Kurdish resistance against extremists. Fighting continued for days until IS militants were killed or surrendered.

Earlier Monday, the Islamic State released a new video purporting to show the killing of two Syrian men in the militants' stronghold of Raqqa, allegedly for spying on the group.

IS has killed hundreds of people since it declared an Islamic caliphate in June last year with the city of Raqqa as its de facto capital.

The video, which was posted on an IS-linked Facebook page, shows two young men in orange jumpsuits, saying they filmed and photographed IS-held areas in Syria and sent footage to a person abroad.

They identify themselves as 21-year-old Faysal Hussein Habibi and 20-year-old Bishr Abdul-Azim and say they received $400 a month for the filming. The two are then tied to a tree, after which masked gunmen shoot them in the head at close range.

The video could not be independently verified but it was posted on a page known to be linked to the militant group.