US fighter jets bombed IS mil­i­tants near be­sieged Kobane

US-led coali­tion should se­ri­ously hit IS po­si­tions be­fore they cap­ture Kobane

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Ac­tivists in the Kur­dish be­sieged city of Kobane in Syria, un­der at­tack from IS, con­firmed that the US-led coali­tion launched air strikes near Syria's bor­der with Turkey.

Fighter jets bombed tar­gets near the Kur­dish town of Kobane, ac­tivists said, as the US-led coali­tion sus­tained the air cam­paign against the Is­lamic State.

Clashes have raged around Kobane for two weeks as IS cap­tured dozens of vil­lages and tried to push into the town it­self.

Even though the West is sup­pos­edly fight­ing the Is­lamic State, Wash­ing­ton is yet to turn its at­ten­tion to the Kur­dish Syr­ian city of Kobane as fight­ers desperately try to stop IS on mul­ti­ple fronts.

The fierce fight­ing has forced around 160,000 peo­ple to flee across the bor­der into Turkey fear­ing a re­peat of the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted against the Yazidi com­mu­nity in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion of Iraq.

Kobane is cur­rently un­der at­tack on three sides by the Is­lamic State (I.S.) ex­trem­ists, who are us­ing heavy ar­tillery and tanks. The Kurds also al­leges that Turkey has been sup­ply­ing the I.S. with arms.

For the lead­ers of Is­lamic State cap­tur­ing Kobane would be a ma­jor vic­tory. Re­mov­ing the threat they per­ceive from Kur­dish forces in Kobane would be use­ful to se­cure the north­ern road from the east to Man­bij, an Is­lamic State strong­hold east of Aleppo.

Smoke could be seen from the east­ern side of the town on Satur­day after what sounded like an ex­plo­sion.

Kur­dish sources inside Kobane, where fight­ers had been pre­par­ing for street bat­tles should IS man­age to pen­e­trate their de­fenses, said they had been in­formed of the strikes in ad­vance so they could pull back from some front­lines.

Lo­cals said the vil­lage of Alishera, held by IS and just a few kilo­me­ters from the bor­der, had been hit by one of four strikes on Satur­day morn­ing.

A se­ries of al­lied air strikes that hit tar­gets in sev­eral ar­eas of the Kobane re­gion had not man­aged to dis­place Is­lamic State. The planes hit build­ings in out­ly­ing ar­eas, many of them al­ready va­cated, while do- ing noth­ing to stem the ad­vance of the ji­hadists’ con­voys. Is­lamic State forces were blitz­ing vil­lages with tanks and pickup trucks mounted with heavy ma­chine guns, fol­lowed by fight­ers on foot stream­ing in from be­hind. There now ap­pears to be an in­creas­ing ur­gency to the at­tacks. IS mil­i­tants are try­ing to cap­ture Kobane be­fore the air strikes start mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.

The US, backed by Arab al­lies, launched its first air strikes on IS tar­gets in Syria on Tues­day after hit­ting hun­dreds of tar­gets in neigh­bor­ing Iraq, where the group has also cap­tured large swaths of ter­ri­tory.

In Syria, the group has es­tab­lished its head­quar­ters in the north­ern Raqqa prov­ince, which it fully con­trols.

Ac­tivists in Raqqa said that the US-led coali­tion had hit sev­eral IS po­si­tions in the prov­ince on Satur­day, killing dozens of fight­ers.

Sev­eral at­tacks tar­geted the Tabqa air base, which the self-de­clared ji­hadists cap­tured from the regime last month. An IS train- ing camp was also hit, as well as one of the group's check­points, the ac­tivists said.

The UK-based Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights also re­ported strikes for the first time in Homs prov­ince, east of the desert town of Palmyra, famed for its an­cient ru­ins.

Syria Kurds cross the bor­der from Syria into Turkey near the south­east­ern town of Su­ruo in San­li­ufa prov­ince, on Sept., 20, 2014.

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