World Bulletin/News Desk
ISIL militants extended their gains in northern Iraq on Thursday, seizing three more towns and gaining a foothold near the Kurdish region, witnesses said.
The advance came after the Sunni militants inflicted a humiliating defeat on Kurdish forces in a weekend sweep in the north.
The ISIL clashed with Kurdish forces on Wednesday in the town of Makhmur near Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish semi-autonomous zone.
In the latest advance, its fighters seized Makhmur and the mainly Christian town of Tilkaif, as well as Al Kwair, witnesses said.
Militants also have seized one of the last remaining government bases in the northern province of Raqqa, activists said on Thursday, in clashes a monitoring group said killed more than 40 people.
Last month the group killed at least 50 Syrian government forces as they took over parts of another base in the area.
On Thursday, a monitoring group and Islamic State supporters said the militants had taken full control of the 93th Brigade military base after an attack that opened with multiple suicide car bomb attacks.
"Allahu Akbar (God is greatest), we announce ... the total liberation of the 93th Brigade," said a Twitter feed which regularly publishes news from Islamic State in Raqqa province.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 27 pro-government fighters were killed after three fighters blew themselves up in car bombs at the gates and around the base and in the ensuing clashes.
At least 11 ISIL fighters were killed, added the group, which monitors violence in Syria through a network of sources. It said "dozens" more were wounded.
The Observatory estimates that the Islamic State controls about 35 percent of Syrian territory - although much of that is desert.
The government has meanwhile consolidated its grip on the country's more densely populated central areas, including a corridor stretching from the capital Damascus to the Mediterranean coast in the west.
More than 170,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war, which pits overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim rebels against President Bashar al-Assad, a member of the Shi'ite-derived Alawite minority, backed by Shi'ite militias from Iraq and Lebanon.
Army commanders announce ‘liberation’ of ISIL-held Tal Afar’s Al-Tanak neighborhood
Jaafari was speaking at a joint press conference with Turkish foreign minister
"They have been given 10 days in this regard," it said.
The three-day selloff, organised by the owner of the world's largest rhino farm, kicked off after a last-minute legal tussle pushed its start back two days.
The children were returned to Sudan after their parents died while fighting with ISIL
Kurdish-language TV channel had voiced opposition to KRG's planned referendum on regional independence
It is the sixth time this year the opposition's deputy leader, Tundu Lissu, has been arrested.
Polls come as country's President Jose Eduardo dos Santos retires after 38 years in office
Analysts scrutinize US leader's decision not to commit to ending US military presence in Afghanistan
DNA match established between missing journalist Kim Wall and torso found on Monday, police confirm
US Defense Secretary James Mattis meets with Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi in Baghdad
‘May the pope help us prevent Trump from launching his troops and invading Venezuela,’ embattled president says
Reading out statements to supporters, American president omits 'many sides' line that drew widespread criticism
Copper mining giant's standoff over new electricity tariffs threatens thousands of jobs
'If I were the Pakistan government I would have growing concerns about the strength of the Taliban,' top diplomat says