Jihadists in fierce new attack on Syria Kurd town: Monitor
The jihadist Islamic State group on Friday launched a fierce new attack against Syrian Kurdish fighters in Kobane, four months into a battle for the flashpoint town on Turkey`s border, a monitoring group said.
Beirut: The jihadist Islamic State group on Friday launched a fierce new attack against Syrian Kurdish fighters in Kobane, four months into a battle for the flashpoint town on Turkey`s border, a monitoring group said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the jihadists tried to break through the lines of the Kurdish People`s Protection Units (YPG) in four different locations.
"This is the fiercest IS attack in about a month," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
In the fighting that followed, "23 jihadists were killed, as were eight members of the YPG", he told AFP.
He added: "Friday`s attack is an attempt by the IS to stop the YPG from continuing to advance."
Despite the attack, the YPG still controls some 80 percent of Kobane, which is known in Arabic as Ain al-Arab, the Britain-based group said.
Newaf Khalil, a spokesman for the main Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) shrugged off the latest attack.
"Daesh`s attempts are doomed to fail," Khalil told AFP via the Internet, using an Arabic acronym for IS.
"We are continuing to make daily progress as part of a plan named Cleansing Kobane. A special committee has started working to rebuild Kobane," he said.
The IS laid siege to Kobane, forcing most residents to flee to Turkey, on September 16.
But the Kurds backed by US-led coalition air strikes have managed to claw back most of the area.
In 24 hours since Thursday morning, the coalition carried out six air strikes near Kobane, destroying two IS "staging positions and nine (IS) fighting positions", according to the US army.
Since the battle for Kobane began on September 16, 1,091 IS jihadists have been killed, as well as 463 YPG fighters, according to the Observatory.
It said another 21 Syrian rebels fighting on the Kurdish side were also killed, as were 21 civilians.