the republic logo

Fighters from Islamic State launch a new attack on northern Syrian town, clash with Kurds

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

MURSITPINAR, Turkey — Fighters from the Islamic State group launched Saturday a new offensive on the northern Syrian town of Kobani after shelling the area from their positions nearby, activists and a Kurdish official said.

Heavy fighting took place in Kobani Saturday afternoon and many mortar shells were fired into the town. Machinegun fire could be clearly heard from inside the town where black smoke was billowing.

The U.S. Central Command said an airstrike destroyed an IS artillery piece near Kobani. In the afternoon, warplanes of the U.S.-led coalition could be heard flying over Kobani.

Idriss Nassan, a senior official in Kobani, said the fighting concentrated on the southern and eastern edges of the town, also known as Ayn Arab.

"They think they can enter the city and these are just dreams," Nassan told The Associated Press by telephone adding that IS fighters have not been able to take Kobani despite more than a month of attacks.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fighting concentrated on the eastern side of the town, surrounded on three sides by Islamic State fighters. It added that IS fighters were spreading news in areas under their control that they will take Kobani on Saturday.

PHOTO: Birds fly as smoke rises over the town of Kobani following airstrikes by the US led coalition seen from the outskirts of Suruc, near the Turkey-Syria border, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Birds fly as smoke rises over the town of Kobani following airstrikes by the US led coalition seen from the outskirts of Suruc, near the Turkey-Syria border, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

IS launched its offensive on Kobani in mid-September and captured dozens of villages before entering parts of the town. The fighting has forced 200,000 people to flee to neighboring Turkey from the fighting.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Central Command said its forces conducted more than 135 airstrikes against the militants in and around Kobani, killing hundreds of IS fighters.

The Observatory and Aleppo-based activist Ahamd al-Ahmad said that the area near the northern village of Handarat witnessed intense clashes between Syrian rebels and government forces.

Government forces are trying to cut a main road linking rebel-held neighborhoods of Aleppo, Syria's largest city, with those in the countryside, Al-Ahmad said via Skype.

The Observatory said the fighting near Handarat has left 15 soldiers and pro-government gunmen dead as well as 12 opposition fighters since the early hours of Saturday.

____

Associated Press writer Bassem Mroue contributed to this report from Beirut.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


Video:
PHOTO: Plumes of smoke were seen rising over the Syrian border town of Kobani on Saturday as fighting continued between Kurdish troops and Islamic State group militants. (Oct. 25)
Plumes of smoke were seen rising over the Syrian border town of Kobani on Saturday as fighting continued between Kurdish troops and Islamic State group militants. (Oct. 25)
Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Men ride a motorcycle backdropped by the Syrian city of Kobani engulfed in smoke, following airstrikes by the US led coalition on the outskirts of Suruc, near the Turkey-Syria border, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Click to view (6 Photos)
We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Subjects:

Places:

 

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.