More than 800 dead in 40 days of Kobane battle

2014-10-26 21:20
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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Cairo - Around 815 people have been killed in 40 days of fighting between Kurdish militias and Islamic State militants in and around the town of Kobane in northern Syria, a monitoring group said on Sunday.

The highest casualties were sustained by the Islamic State, which has seen some 481 of its fighters killed since the radical group launched a mid-September offensive to capture Kobane, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The toll also included 302 Kurdish fighters led by the People's Protection Units, according to the Britain-based Observatory.

Twenty-one Kurdish civilians were also killed in the violence. They include 17 executed by the jihadists, the watchdog said.

The United States and Arab allies intensified their aerial campaign against the Islamic State in Kobane after the al-Qaeda splinter group gained ground around the mostly Kurdish town in recent days.

The jihadists are thought to be trying to capture Mursitpinar, a border crossing into Turkey.

Capturing the crossing would pre-empt any reinforcements by Iraqi Kurds, who earlier this week voted to send reinforcements to Kobane, which lies at the centre of a Kurdish enclave in Syria.

The Islamic State also controls considerable swathes of territory in neighbouring Iraq.

Read more on:    islamic state  |  syria

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