Syrian Democratic Forces cut IS strategic route to Iraq
The US-backed alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters captured a number of villages near the Iraqi border from IS militants, allowing them to seal off the terror group's strategic route between al-Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.
The alliance, which includes the YPG Kurdish militia, entered the city of Shadadi in Syria's north-eastern Hasaka province, as videos emerged on social media of locals cheering them.
The SDF had launched an offensive against IS this week to capture Shadadi, a major logistical hub for IS located on a network of highways in Hasakah province.
The alliance was back by US-led coalition, launching air raids against IS who control some parts of the Hasakah province but have lost grounds more recently.
The SDF have become the most effective force fighting IS on the ground.
The group recently captured large areas in northern Syria, raising concerns in Turkey.
The SDF is dominated by the main Kurdish militia, known as the People's Protection Units [YPG].
Turkey has blamed the YPG as well as Turkey's own Kurdish rebels, for Wednesday's bomb attack in Ankara that killed 28 people.
Tensions have mounted between the US and Turkey over American support to Kurdish groups fighting IS in Syria.