Kurds strive to pro­tect be­sieged Kur­dish Kobani

Kurds halt IS thrust into the cen­tre of the city

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Syr­ian ac­tivists and Kur­dish of­fi­cials say fierce fight­ing is un­der­way in a Syr­ian bor­der town where the Kur­dish Peo­ples' De­fence Units YPG fight­ers are strug­gling to re­pel ad­vances by the Is­lamic State group.

The bat­tle for the Kur­dish Kobani town in Syr­ian Kur­dis­tan (Ro­java) is rag­ing de­spite air strikes by the U. S. -led coali­tion tar­get­ing the mil­i­tants.

A Kur­dish of­fi­cial said Satur­day's clashes were fo­cused on the south­ern and east­ern parts of the town. He said the sit­u­a­tion was dire and ap­pealed for in­ter­na­tional help.

"We are de­fend­ing (the town) but ... we have only sim­ple weapons and they (mil­i­tants) have heavy weapons," he said. "They are not be­sieged and can move eas­ily," he said.

He said the U.S.-led air strikes were not ef­fec­tive, and urged the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and the United Na­tions to in­ter­vene, pre­dict­ing a mas­sacre if the mil­i­tants seize con­trol of Kobani.

He also ap­pealed to Turkey to open a cor­ri­dor that would al­low re­main­ing civil­ians to leave Kobani and arms sup­plies to en­ter the town.

The di­rec­tor of the Bri­tain-based Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights, Rami Ab­dur­rah­man, said the town's Kur­dish fight­ers are putting up a fierce fight but are out­gunned by the mil­i­tants.

Kur­dish fight­ers thwarted a thrust by the Is­lamic State group ji­hadists to ad­vance into the cen­tre of early on Satur­day, a mon­i­tor­ing group said.

The at­tack came after the IS mil­i­tants over­ran Kurd- ish head­quar­ters in the bor­der town on Fri­day, spark­ing fears they would cut off the last es­cape route to neigh­bour­ing Turkey for hun­dreds of mainly el­derly civil­ians still in the town cen­tre.

The IS as­sault sparked 90 min­utes of heavy fight­ing with the town's Kur­dish de­fend­ers be­fore the ji­hadists fell back, the Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights said.

US-led coali­tion war- planes also car­ried out two air strikes on IS tar­gets south and east of the town early Satur­day, ac­cord­ing to the Bri­tain-based mon­i­tor­ing group, which has a wide net­work of sources inside Syria.

Since the mil­i­tants launched their on­slaught on Kobani in mid-Septem­ber, at least 500 peo­ple have been killed and more than 200,000 have been forced to flee across the bor­der into Turkey.

Turk­ish Kurds look to­wards the Syr­ian Kur­dish town of Kobani from the top of a hill close to the bor­der line be­tween Turkey and Syria near Mur­sit­pinar bor­der­gate Oc­to­ber 10, 2014.

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