Kurdish Fighters Push into IS-Held Town

BEIRUT (AP) -- U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters are pushing deeper into an eastern town held by the Islamic State group, taking its main market amid intense fighting with the extremists in their last holdout.

Members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have been fighting to take the town of Hajin and nearby villages in Syria's eastern province of Deir el-Zour since Sept. 10.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday that IS defenses "collapsed" in Hajin as the town's main market was captured.

The Observatory says SDF fighters were also able to evacuate some 600 civilians, many of them women and children, out of IS-held areas.

Omar Abu Layla, of the activist-run DeirEzzor 24 monitoring group, confirmed the market was taken as well as the main mosque in Hajin.

(KA)