Europe

IS detain 900 Kurdish civilians in northern Syria in 3 weeks

FILE - This file image posted on the Twitter page of Syria's al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, which is consistent with AP reporting, shows Nusra Front fighters moving forward to fight against Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen at the hilltop of Khalsa village, southern Aleppo, Syria. The Syrian government has suffered serious setbacks in its campaign to retake the Islamic State's de facto capital of Raqqa, even with Russia's support. Arabic, bottom right, reads, "Jihadis on their way to Khalsa village." (Al-Nusra Front Twitter page via AP, File)

FILE - This file image posted on the Twitter page of Syria's al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, which is consistent with AP reporting, shows Nusra Front fighters moving forward to fight against Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen at the hilltop of Khalsa village, southern Aleppo, Syria. The Syrian government has suffered serious setbacks in its campaign to retake the Islamic State's de facto capital of Raqqa, even with Russia's support. Arabic, bottom right, reads, "Jihadis on their way to Khalsa village." (Al-Nusra Front Twitter page via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

A Kurdish official and Syrian activists say Islamic State group fighters have detained some 900 Kurds in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo over the past three weeks, amid fierce fighting for control of a nearby IS stronghold.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday the 900 civilians were detained near the IS-held town of Al-Bab.

Sherfan Darwish, spokesman for the U.S.-backed predominantly-Kurdish Syria Democratic Forces, told The Associated Press that over 900 were seized in retaliation for an SDF offensive on the IS-stronghold of Manbij.

Darwish says that, "whenever Daesh is defeated they retaliate against civilians," using an Arabic acronym for IS.

The Observatory and Darwish say some of the detainees were forced to dig trenches in IS-held areas while others are imprisoned in detention centers.