Kurds recapture key Kobane hill from Islamic State militants

The Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG) battling the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group on Tuesday said they have recaptured a strategically important hilltop west of Kobane on Syria's border with Turkey.

Updated: Oct 14, 2014, 18:51 PM IST
Kurds recapture key Kobane hill from Islamic State militants

London: The Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG) battling the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group on Tuesday said they had recaptured a strategically important hilltop west of Kobane on Syria's border with Turkey.

The advances were made after a series of air strikes by the US-led coalition, BBC reported.

The hill, Tall Shair, was captured by the IS militants who had besieged the area for a month.

Two weeks of air strikes against IS targets in and around Kobane have allowed Kurdish fighters to slow the jihadis' advance, but Turkish and Western leaders have warned that the town was still likely to fall, reports said.

To take stock of the situation, US President Barack Obama is scheduled to hold talks with military chiefs from more than 20 countries, later today. He is likely to discuss on how to combat the IS in Syria and Iraq

Yesterday, heavy fighting was reported in the east and south of Kobane. The US-led anti-terror coalition had also struck five IS positions in the southern parts of Kobane, the SOHR said without elaboration.

As the intense clashes raged on, over 500 Kurdish families fled Kobane toward Syria's northern province of Hasaka, the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV reported.

Also, the local al-Watan daily quoted Kurdish sources in Kobane as stating that the US strikes against IS positions have been useful over the past three days "thanks to the information provided by informants among the IS ranks".

It said the IS in Kobane was infiltrated by informants who were providing the US-led coalition with "precise information" via a third party about the movements and gatherings of the group.

The paper said that Kurdish fighters in the IS had been important sources of information that prevented the terror group from capturing the entire city so far.

The IS has also executed 12 Kurdish fighters among its ranks, accusing them of providing viable information about the group's military plans, according to the paper.

The SOHR said earlier that IS fighters had captured over 40 percent of the city, adding that the weeks-long battles have killed over 500 people, the majority of whom were fighters from both sides.

Kobane has been subject to ferocious attacks by IS militants over the past three weeks. The IS fighters have succeeded in capturing hundreds of Kurdish villages around the city, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee to Turkey.

The capture of the city would enable the IS to link its self-declared capital of al-Raqqa province with Kobane and stretch its territory to areas bordering Turkey.

With Agency inputs