BEIRUT (AP) — Kurdish officials and activists say Kurdish fighters are making headway toward a stronghold of the Islamic State group near the Turkish border amid intense fighting between the two sides.

The fighting has forced thousands of residents of Tal Abyad to flee to Turkey. On Saturday, hundreds of additional Syrians could be seen on the Syrian side of the border, waiting to cross into Turkey.

A statement by the main Syrian Kurdish fighting force, known as the YPG, said its fighters have laid siege to the Islamic State-held town of Suluk southwest of Tal Abyad. It said IS militants have "lost control" over Suluk and Kurdish forces were advancing toward Tal Abyad.

The Kurds are backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.