Islamic State controls strategic location at Syrian-Turkish border

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Militants of the Islamic State are advancing towards Kurdish border city, north Syria. File photo

ARA News

Kobane, Syria – Clashes continued between the Kurdish fighters of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) and insurgents of the Islamic State (IS/ISIL) for the fourth consecutive day in the vicinity of Kobane city, northern Syria.

Backed by Syrian rebels of the Burkan al-Furat Military Chamber, the Kurdish forces of the YPG are combating IS extremists in an attempt to prevent the fall of Kobane city (at the Syrian-Turkish border) in the hands of the IS group.

Militants of IS have recently controlled the majority of villages in the countryside of Kobane, and are currently advancing towards the city, despite the U.S.-led airstrikes.

Mount Mishtanoor, one of the strategic areas overlooking the city of Kobane, is reportedly controlled by IS militants on Sunday, after the urgent withdrawal of the YPG forces and al-Furat rebels from the area.

“Mount Mishtanoor overlooks the city of Kobane, and IS terrorists’ control of the mountain could give them a great opportunity to prepare and launch effective operations against the headquarters of the YPG forces in the city,” a media activist in Kobane told ARA News, under the condition of anonymity. “The YPG and other Syrian rebels fighters withdrew from the main sites of the mountain. However, they are still in control of the northern side of Mishtanoor.”

Abu Issa, commander of Raqqa Rebels Brigade (member of Burkan al-Furat Chamber), told ARA News that the IS group dominated the southern part of the mountain (Mishtanoor) where pro-IS tanks and cannons are stationed to bomb the city, emphasizing that IS militants also took over the top of the mountain on Sunday.

“After fierce clashes, our fighters and those of the YPG were forced to withdraw in order to avoid casualties in their ranks, as the IS extremists possess heavy weapons, which we lack,” Issa said.

However, the Defense Council of the PYD-linked Auto-Administration in Kobane reported that the recent clashes in the vicinity of Mount Mishtanoor “led to the death of at least 40 IS militants”.

On the other hand, the U.S.-led international coalition’s fighter jets targeted IS strongholds in the villages of Mazraat Dawood and Halanj in the countryside of Kobane during the early hours on Sunday.

According to local sources, the recent U.S.-led strikes in Kobane resulted in the death and injury of dozens of IS militant fighters.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State’s extremists continued shelling the city of Kobane with mortars for the third consecutive day, amid reports of casualties among civilians, locals told ARA News.

 

Reporting by: Jan Ali and Redwan Bizar

Source: ARA News

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