Damascus, Jan 13 (IANS) At least eight members of the Sunni radical group Islamic State (IS) were killed Tuesday in clashes with Kurdish fighters in Syria, a monitor group reported.

The IS attacked positions of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) near the al-Hal marketplace and east of the secure governmental zone in the predominantly Kurdish city of Ayn al-Arab, or Kobane, Xinhua quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying.

The London-based watchdog group added that the YPG responded to the attacks, killing eight IS militants.

The US-led anti-terror coalition also carried out three strikes against IS positions in Ayn al-Arab, the Observatory said without elaboration.

IS militants have been on a major offensive against Ayn al-Arab since last September, appearing determined to capture the strategic city on the borders with Turkey.

The resilience of Kurdish fighters and US-led airstrikes have so far contributed to slowing down IS advance in northern Syria.