Kurds say they have halted ISIL advance on Syrian town
BEIRUT - Reuters
Hürriyet photoSyrian Kurdish fighters have halted an advance by Islamic State militants to the east of a predominantly Kurdish town near the border with Turkey, a spokesman for the region’s main Kurdish armed group, the People’s Defense Forces (YPG) under the Democratic Union Party (PYD) said.
"Fierce clashes are still under way but the the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) advance to the east of Kobani has been halted since last night," Redur Xelil, spokesman for the YPG, said via Skype.
He said the eastern front was the scene of the fiercest fighting in the offensive launched by the ISIL last Tuesday on Kobane, also known in Arabic as Ayn al-Arab. More than 130,000 Syrian Kurds, driven by fear of Islamic State, have fled its advance, many crossing the border into Turkey.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks violence in the Syrian war, said Islamic State militants had made no significant advance in the last 24 hours.
The offensive is the ISIL's second attempt to take Kobane since June, when it staged a lightning advance across northern Iraq, seizing the city of Mosul and with it Iraqi weaponry including American-made hardware that the Syrian Kurds say is now being used against them. The previous attack on Kobane, in July, was fought off with the help of Kurds who crossed the border from Turkey.