Reuters International

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian Kurdish authorities evacuated thousands of civilians from Kurdish areas of a city in northeastern Syria on a second day of government air strikes and artillery bombardment on Friday, a spokesman for the Kurdish YPG militia said.

Dozens of civilians have been killed over the last 48 hours, YPG spokesman Redur Xelil told Reuters, describing it as the most intense battle between his group and the Syrian government in more than five years of civil war.

"Hasaka is witnessing a real war now," Xelil said.

He said most of those evacuated were women and children. "Whoever can bear arms is fighting the regime and its gangs," he said. The Syrian military could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Tom Perry; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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