Syrian activists and Kurdish representatives say Kurdish fighters have captured dozens of villages following days of clashes with the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria.

The Kurdish fighters, known as the People's Protection Units or YPG, have been making territorial gains since capturing the Syrian border town of Kobani last month following a several-month struggle.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Kurdish fighters, supported by Arab militias and air strikes from the U.S.-backed coalition, captured on Friday the eastern and southeastern approaches to the town of Tel Hamees in Hassakeh province.

Nawaf Khalil, a YPG spokesman, says Kurdish forces have actually entered the IS-held town.

The Observatory says ground battles and air strikes around Tel Hamees have killed at least 175 IS fighters in the past several days.