Backed by U.S.-led strikes, Syrian Kurdish forces advance in Kobane

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Kurdish fighters of the YPG in the countryside of Kobane, northern Syria. File photo

ARA News

Kobane, Syria – Suruc, Turkey — The U.S.-led airstrikes hit the strongholds of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in the outskirts of the Kurdish-majority city of Kobane, northern Syria, in the early hours of Saturday, destroying heavy weapons used by IS to shell the city.

At least 35 militant fighters of the Islamic State were killed in Kobane operations on Saturday.

Activists in Kobane (at the Turkish border) told ARA News that the international coalition’s airstrikes targeted more than ten IS strongholds in east, south and west of Kobane, including the villages of Dehabek, Hlinj, Siran and Dawood Farm as well as back lines of the group.

Speaking to ARA News in Kobane, Kurdish activist Saman Kalo said: “The strikes coincided with clashes between IS extremists and Kurdish forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) in the southern countryside of Kobane, near Siran village.”

According to Kalo, the U.S.-led airstrikes helped the YPG forces to advance against IS militants in southern Kobane.

“Eastern and western fronts were relatively stable on Saturday; no progress of IS,” Kalo said. “IS militants withdrew 3 km south after the airstrikes targeted their strongholds.”

Meanwhile, local sources in the IS-held cities of Manbij and Jarablus reported that hospitals of both cities were filled with IS militants who were injured during clashes with the Kurdish forces as well as those injured due to U.S.-led strikes.

The PYD-led Auto-Administration in northern Syria reported that the international coalition’s strikes on the countryside of Kobane caused damage to dozens of IS-held military vehicles as well as tanks and heavy artillery.

“Kurdish forces still heroically defend Kobane and prevent IS from controlling the city,” media sources linked to the democratic Union Party (PYD) reported on Saturday.

Civilians Inside Kobane 

As violence intensified in the area, tens of thousands of civilians left Kobane and crossed the border into Turkey during the last two weeks. However, hundreds of families and elderly people still live in the city of Kobane, although the YPG forces announced the region as a military zone despite the progress of the IS.

Speaking to ARA News in Kobane, activist Ibrahim Qadir said that the Auto-Administration takes care of the families who stayed or those who returned from Turkey; as they were unable to find accommodation in the war-torn area, and provides them with basic necessities.

“Despite the hard living conditions and lack of security, some of the families celebrated Eid al-Adha in Kobane on Saturday,” Ibrahim said. “Although IS terrorists try to end life in the region, people are determined to continue and survive all the hardships.”

Local sources stressed that thousands of displaced civilians are still stuck at the Turkish borders with their herds and vehicles between Itmank and Tell Shair areas.

“Our herds have not had any feed for three days now. Some of them died due to hunger and thirst,” a man from Kobane said to ARA News.

Worth mentioning is that militant fighters of the Islamic State attacked hundreds of displaced families at the Turkish border last week without intervention from the Turkish border guards.

 

Reporting by: Jan Ali and Redwan Bizar

Source: ARA News

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