Islamic State jihadists have seized 60 Kurdish villages near the Turkish border in a lightning two-day campaign, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday.

“In the past 48 hours, they have taken 60 villages, 40 on Friday alone,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman, referring to the operation around Ain al-Arab, known to the Kurds as Kobane.

“The Kurdish fighters are beating a retreat because they are outnumbered.”