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Activists: Kurdish-allied fighters seize "belt of villages" around Kobani from IS militants

A Syrian refugee woman who fled violence in Syrian city of Ain al-Arab, known also as Kobani, hangs clothes outside her tent in a camp in the border town of Suruc, Turkey, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. About 200,000 people arrived in Turkey since the start of fighting between Kurdish militia and Islamic State militants mid-September, 2014. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

A Syrian refugee woman who fled violence in Syrian city of Ain al-Arab, known also as Kobani, hangs clothes outside her tent in a camp in the border town of Suruc, Turkey, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. About 200,000 people arrived in Turkey since the start of fighting between Kurdish militia and Islamic State militants mid-September, 2014. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)  (The Associated Press)

A senior Syrian Kurdish official and activists say that Kurdish-allied fighters have seized a "belt of villages" around Kobani from Islamic State militants.

Anwar Muslim said Tuesday that Kurdish fighters and their Syrian Arab rebel allies have now secured a diameter of six to nine miles around Kobani, days after they seized control of the city itself on Jan. 26.

Muslim said the forces were now expanding further outwards. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported similar information.

IS militants overran large parts of Kobani and surrounding areas in mid-September, forcing tens of thousands of Kurds to flee to neighboring Turkey. For months Kurds and their allies fought to retake Kobani, assisted by airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition.

The IS has blamed coalition airstrikes for its defeat in Kobani.