Intensified air strikes help Kurdish militia push back IS in Kobani

imgIntensified air strikes helped Kurdish militia push back Islamic State jihadists fighting for Kobani, as pressure mounted yesterday for more international action to save the key Syrian border town.

Across the frontier in Turkey, the government’s lack of action against the jihadists was drawing a furious response, with at least 19 people killed in pro-Kurdish demonstrations.

A strike by the US-led coalition hit near Kobani early yesterday after a flurry of raids the day before. It sent a cloud of thick black smoke billowing from the eastern side of the town, where Kurdish militia were reported to have forced IS fighters out of several neighborhoods.

The jihadists pierced Kobani’s defences this week, sparking fierce street battles that continued yesterday with the sounds of heavy gunfire and mortar shells falling on the town.

A Kobani official, Idris Nahsen, said fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) had managed to push IS militants out of key areas after “helpful” airstrikes by the US-led coalition.

“The situation has changed since yesterday. YPG forces have pushed back ISIS forces,” he said, using another name for the extremist group.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, also said IS fighters had withdrawn overnight from several areas and were no longer inside the western part of Kobani.

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