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Thursday 8 June 2023 Dublin: 10°C
# islamic state
This is how close ISIS is to crossing into Turkey
The city of Kobane has become incredibly important.


WARPLANES BELIEVED TO have been sent by the US air force have hit ISIS positions in the northern Syrian town of Kobane.

The city, whose 44,000 people have largely fled or been evacuated, has become a crucial flashpoint in the battle against the Islamic State group.

Kobane, also known as Ayn al-Arab, is just metres from the border crossing into Turkey.

It has been besieged for three weeks, with jihadists launching suicide attacks on the city. Yesterday, Islamic State fighters raised two of their flags in the city.

The proximity to Turkey comes with its own complications. Many Turks feel an enmity towards the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who are fighting back the Islamic State, because of a decades-long armed conflict between the PKK and Turkey.

Media reports in Turkey last night said that demonstrators denouncing the advance of ISIS had been dispersed in seven cities, including Istanbul.

AFP reports that one of their correspondents in Turkey witnessed fresh airstrikes this morning, with the US the most likely to have launched the attacks.

The fighting has spread across the city, but the Kurdish People’s Protection Units fighters seeking to halt the IS advance, a Kurdish flag could still be seen flying from a roof in the centre of the town, the correspondent said.

“There were lots of clashes last night between YPG and IS,” Idris Nahsen, a Kurdish official still in Kobane, told AFP.

Turkey Syria Apexchange Tanks near the Turkey - Syrian border Apexchange

The IS jihadists “are in the east side of the city. They are trying hard to capture the city. But there is resistance from YPG fighters which stopped their progress Monday and last night,” he said.

The US-led coalition airstrikes, which continued in the night and the morning, are “helping but are not enough”, he added, calling for arms and ammunition to be supplied to the Kurdish fighters.

He said the Kurds were in contact with both the US-led coalition and Turkey in search of more assistance.

“We need help from the international community. Either we finish them (IS) or they will finish us,” he said.

Read: Now IS has advanced to the Turkish border – and planted its flag there

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