Jihadists pull back in Syria's Kobane after strikes: monitor

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News ID: 5254
Asia » Asia
Publish Date: 12:49 - 08 October 2014
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BEIRUT, Oct 08, 2014 (AFP) - Jihadists from the Islamic State group withdrew from some parts of the embattled Syrian town of Kobane overnight after air strikes by a US-led coalition, a monitor said Wednesday.
Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said "fighters from the Islamic State withdrew overnight from several areas in the east of Ain al-Arab (Kobane) and the southwestern edges."
      
After the pullback, the group's fighters were present in eastern parts of the strategic town and its southern edges, but were no longer inside on the western front, Abdel Rahman said.
      
He said the move came after "their rear positions were hit in strikes, causing casualties and damaging at least four of their vehicles."
      
IS fighters entered Kobane, also known as Ain al-Arab, on Monday night, after nearly three weeks of fighting around the town on the Syria-Turkey border.
      
On Tuesday, fighting raged in the east, west and south of Kobane, which is Syria's third biggest Kurdish town, and a US-led coalition fighting IS carried out multiple air strikes around the town.
      
Mustafa Ebdi, a Kurdish journalist and activist from Kobane, wrote on his Facebook page that "the streets of the Maqtala neighbourhood in southeastern Kobane are full of the bodies of Daesh fighters," using the Arabic acronym for IS.
      
But he added that hundreds of civilians remained in the town and "the humanitarian situation is difficult and people need food and water."
      
IS began its advance on Kobane on September 16, quickly sweeping through the surrounding countryside and prompting an estimated 186,000 people to flee the region across the border into Turkey.
      
According to the Observatory, at least 412 people have been killed in the fighting, though the group said it believes the true toll could be twice as high.
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