Syria border town 'about to fall' to ISIS

2014-10-07 19:32


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Mursitpinar - Jihadists are on the verge of seizing the key Syrian border town of Kobane, Turkey warned on Tuesday, after a three-week assault by the Islamic State (ISIS) group that has left hundreds reported dead.

The fall of Kobane to ISIS would mark a major victory for the jihadists, who are fighting for a long stretch of the border with Turkey for their self-proclaimed "Islamic caliphate".

With the battle entering a crucial phase, US and Arab war planes launched fresh strikes on ISIS positions near Syria's third largest Kurdish town.

At least 412 people, more than half of them jihadists, have been killed in and around Kobane since mid-September, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that the strategically important town was "about to fall", saying a ground operation was needed to defeat the militants.

"I am telling the West - dropping bombs from the air will not provide a solution," he said.

Kurdish fighters have ordered civilians to evacuate the town, after the jihadists planted their black flags on its eastern side and entered Kobane on Monday.

"There are no more civilians in Kobane. It's just a battlefield," said resident Faruq Hajji Mustafa, who fled the town on Monday.

The United States and its allies have launched nearly 2 000 air raids against jihadists in both Iraq and Syria in an attempt to stop their advance, including five strikes near Kobane on Monday and Tuesday.

The battle for Kobane has prompted about 200 000 residents to flee across the Turkish border.

Read more on:    isis  |  turkey  |  syria

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