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Local Fighters Help Push Back ISIS in Syria, Iraq

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Iraqi forces seized four villages back from ISIS fighters on Sunday, after gaining ground with Shi'ite militias in a strategic town near Baghdad, according to security officials. Meanwhile, Kurdish fighters were able to push back ISIS fighters trying to take a border post in the Syrian border town of Kobani, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

In Iraq, local security forces backed by Shi'ite militias drove ISIS militants out of Jurf al-Sakhar, just south of Baghdad, while Kurdish fighters regained control over the town of Zumar in the north on Saturday. On Sunday Iraqi forces were able to "build sand barriers to prevent the armed men from returning" to four villages, army major Ahmed Nu'aman told Reuters by telephone. U.S. military forces conducted 12 airstrikes against ISIS on Saturday and Sunday, destroying militant vehicles and buildings, according to U.S. Central Command.

Kurdish fighters in Syria were able to deter ISIS fighters who shelled a border gate in Kobani on Sunday in an attempt to seize the post. If Kurdish fighters lost the gate, their only way to cross into Turkey would be blocked, but Kurdish fighters were able to defend the post. "Of course [militants] will try again tonight. Last night they brought new reinforcements, new supplies, and they are pushing hard," said Idris Nassan, a local Kurdish official. U.S. forces continues to combat ISIS militants in Syria Saturday and Sunday, using fighter and bomber aircraft to conduct five airstrikes in the area, according to U.S. Central Command.

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— Elisha Fieldstadt, with Reuters

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