IS reenters Syria Kurdish battleground town Kobane

Beirut: Islamic State group fighters reentered the Syrian Kurdish battleground town of Kobane on Thursday, detonating a suicide bomb and battling Kurdish forces, a monitoring group said.


“IS detonated a suicide bomb in the area near the border crossing with Turkey, killing at least five people,” said Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman.

“Fierce clashes erupted afterwards in the centre of the town and there are bodies lying in the streets,” he added, without giving a specific toll.

He said fighting was still raging on Thursday morning.

IS battled for some four months to seize Kobane but Kurdish fighters backed by US-led air strikes secured control of the border town in January in a symbolic defeat for the jihadists.

In the months since, forces of the Kurdish People s Protection Units (YPG) have advanced from Kobane in Aleppo province into neighbouring Raqa province, the militants stronghold.

In recent days, they captured the strategic town of Tal Abyad, also on the border with Turkey, and pushed towards IS s de facto Syrian capital of Raqa city in the Euphrates valley to the south.

Islamic State group fighters also entered the northeastern city of Hasakeh overnight, seizing two neighbourhoods from government forces in heavy clashes, the monitoring group said.

At least 30 regime loyalists and 20 IS militants were killed in the fighting, which continued into Thursday morning.

The Britain-based group said the IS attack began late on Wednesday, with the militantt group using at least one suicide bomber against a militia checkpoint during its advance.

“Heavy fighting is continuing, with shelling by both sides,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

He said IS had taken control of two southern districts of the city.