US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

A French Navy Hawkeye reconnaissance plane prepares to take off from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the Gulf on February 24, 2015 as part of a campaign against the Islamic State groupThe US-led coalition carried out air strikes Thursday against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The IS offensive has killed at least 35 jihadists and 25 members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and of an Assyrian defence force, according to the Observatory. The fighting and kidnappings prompted around 5,000 people to flee the countryside, with many seeking refuge in Qamishli, a large city in the province that is controlled by Kurdish and regime forces.

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