New US-Led Airstrikes Hit Besieged Syrian Town
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The US-led coalition pounded positions of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group in the Syrian border town of Kobane on Thursday in some of the most intensive strikes in the air campaign so far, a Kurdish official and an activist group said.
But despite the airstrikes overnight and into the morning, the ISIL fighters managed to capture a police station in the east of the town, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The militants now control more than third of the strategic border town, the Observatory was quoted by AP as saying.
The ISIL militants launched their offensive on Kobane in mid-September, capturing several nearby Kurdish villages and steadily tightening their noose around the town since then. The fighting has also forced at least 200,000 town residents and villagers from the area to flee across the frontier into Turkey.
However, Idriss Nassan, an official with Kobane's Kurdish government, denied the militants were in control of a third of the town on Thursday.
He confirmed that the Kobane police station was taken by the ISIL group but he said it was later destroyed in an airstrike. He said the Kurdish fighters managed to regain several other town areas on Thursday.
"I can confirm that they don't control a third of the city. There is only a small part of Kobane under the control of Daesh," said Nassan, using the Arabic acronym to refer to the ISIL group.
Both Nassan and the Observatory said more than 20 airstrikes have been conducted in the area since Wednesday afternoon.
The Observatory's chief, Rami Abdurrahman, said that more than 500 people have been killed in and around Kobane since the fighting began in September.
Also on Thursday, the ISIL brought reinforcements from their stronghold in the border town of Jarablous and the town of Manbij and Aleppo province, Abdurrahman said.