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In this Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 file photo, Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) soldiers walk near the town entrance circle heading to their strongholds in Kobani, Syria. (AP Photo/Jake Simkin, File)

ISIS in fierce new attack on Kobani

Agence France Presse
BEIRUT: ISIS launched a fierce new attack against Syrian Kurdish fighters in Kobani Friday, four months into a battle for the flashpoint town on Turkey’s border, an activist group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the jihadis 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, using an alternative name for ISIS.

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 Kobani, 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 ISIS.

“We are continuing to make daily progress as part of a plan named Cleansing Kobani. A special committee has started working to rebuild Kobani,” he said.

In this Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 file photo, Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) soldiers walk near the town entrance circle heading to their strongholds in Kobani, Syria. (AP Photo/Jake Simkin, File)
In this Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 file photo, Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) soldiers walk near the town entrance circle heading to their strongholds in Kobani, Syria. (AP Photo/Jake Simkin, File)

ISIS laid siege to Kobani, forcing most residents to flee to Turkey, on September 16.

But the Kurds backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes have managed to claw back most of the area.

In 24 hours since Thursday morning, the coalition carried out six airstrikes near Kobani, destroying two ISIS “staging positions and nine [ISIS] fighting positions,” according to the U.S. army.

Since the battle for Kobani began on September 16, 1,091 ISIS jihadis 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.

– See more at: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Jan-16/284347-isis-in-fierce-new-attack-on-kobani-syria-activists.ashx#sthash.qNIEFRMD.dpuf

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