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Tuesday, Oct 7, 2014

World

Fresh airstrikes on jihadist positions in Kobane: AFP

AFP | Tuesday, Oct 7, 2014

Alleged Islamic State (IS) militants stand next to an IS flag atop a hill in the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, as seen from the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province, on October 6, 2014. Two flags of Islamic State (IS) jihadists seeking to take the Syrian town of Kobane were flying on the eastern side of the town, an AFP photographer reported. The flags, black with the Arabic lettering of the group, were seen by the photographer from the Turkish side of the border. One flew on a building while another larger flag was planted on a hill.

MURSITPINAR, Turkey - Fresh air strikes by the US-led coalition on Tuesday hit positions held by Islamic State jihadists in the southwest of the key Syrian border town of Kobane, according to an AFP journalist just across the border in Turkey.

The strikes came a day after the extremists pushed into Kobane, seizing three districts in the city's east after fierce street battles with its Kurdish defenders.

Two air strikes were carried out in the early hours of the morning while two more were carried out later on, with the sound of the jets and the bombing clearly audible over the border in Turkey.

On Tuesday, the fighting had spread to new areas in the south and west of Kobane, a monitor said.

However with Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) 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 by telephone.

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.

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