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  • 01 Oct

    Islamic State crisis: New strikes in Syria near Kobane

    US-led forces have carried out air strikes on Islamic State (IS) militants battling Kurdish fighters around the northern Syrian border town of Kobane.

    A BBC correspondent saw explosions outside the town in the morning.

    At least 10 people were killed overnight, Syrian activists said, as the jihadists moved to within 2 to 3km (1.2-1.9 miles) of Kobane.

    Tens of thousands of people have fled across the border into Turkey since IS launched an offensive two weeks ago.

    The jihadists’ advance has put pressure on the Turkish government to take a more significant role in the US-led coalition formed to combat IS.

    Ministers submitted a proposal to parliament late on Tuesday to allow Turkish troops to conduct operations in Syria and Iraq, and to allow foreign forces to use Turkish military bases.
    Parliament is expected to debate the proposal on Thursday, and the ruling AK Party’s majority means it is likely to be approved.

    In a separate development in Syria on Wednesday, at least 17 people, including several children, were killed and dozens wounded in a double bomb attack in the central city of Homs, officials and activists said.

    The blasts took place as children left a school in the Akrama al-Jadida district, which is dominated by President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect.
    Desperate civilians

    The BBC’s Paul Adams, who is on the Turkish side of the border near Kobane, reported sporadic fighting between Syrian Kurdish and IS fighters on Wednesday morning. Several mortars were fired by the jihadists at houses on the besieged town’s outskirts.

    There were reports of several air strikes overnight and our correspondent says he saw at least two more on positions in the distance, each one sending a huge column of black smoke high into the sky. Jets are continuing to circle overhead, he adds.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist group that monitors casualties from the three-year-old conflict in Syria, reported that there had been at least five air strikes south and south-east of Kobane.

    It said nine Kurdish militiamen from the Popular Protection Units (YPG) and an IS militant had been killed in clashes overnight.

    Source: bbc.com

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