Dozens of jihadists killed fighting Syria Kurds

2014-12-25 20:08
Thick smoke from an airstrike rises in Kobani, Syria, as seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border. (Levend Ali, AP)

Thick smoke from an airstrike rises in Kobani, Syria, as seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border. (Levend Ali, AP)

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Beirut - At least 44 members of the Islamic State group were killed in clashes with Kurdish troops in Syria on Thursday, a monitoring group said.

Thirty of the jihadists were killed fighting against members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the village of Qassiab in Hasakeh province, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The YPG regained control of the village, two days after it was seized by the jihadists, said the Britain-based group, which has a wide network of activists on the ground in Syria.

Three Kurdish fighters were also killed in the clashes, it added.

Another 14 jihadists and an YPG fighter were killed fighting in the flashpoint town Kobane in northern Syria, said the Observatory.

Fighting over Kobane began in mid-September, when the ISIS launched a bid to take it over.

A US-led coalition has been launching air strikes against ISIS positions in Syria since 23 September and the YPG have also received backing from Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga and from some Syrian rebel groups.

On Wednesday, the coalition launched eight strikes against ISIS positions in Kobane, which is known as Ain al-Arab in Arabic.

Elsewhere, Syrian air force raids killed at least 21 people, including several children, in the ISIS-held areas of Al-Bab and Qbasin in the northern province of Aleppo, said the Observatory.

The regime air force has killed thousands of people, mostly civilians living in areas out of government control, ever since it was first deployed in the country's war in July 2012.

The UN and international rights groups have repeatedly called on the government to refrain from using its air force against inhabited areas.

Nearly four years of civil war ravaging the country have killed an estimated 200 000 people and also displaced half of the population.

Read more on:    isis  |  syria

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