US-led forces have sharply stepped up air strikes in the past two days against Islamic State (IS) fighters threatening Kurds on Syria’s Turkish border, Reuters reported.
The coalition launched 21 attacks on the militants near the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani over Monday and Tuesday and appeared to have slowed militants’ advances in the area, the US military was quoted as saying.
War on the militants in Syria is threatening to unravel a delicate peace in neighboring Turkey where Kurds are furious with Ankara over its refusal to help protect their kin in Syria, the report noted.
The plight of the Syrian Kurds in Kobani provoked riots among Turkey’s 15 million Kurds last week in which at least 35 people were killed.
Kurds inside Kobani said the US-led strikes on Islamic State had helped, but that the militants, who have besieged the town for weeks, were still on the attack.
Asya Abdullah, co-chair of the dominant Kurdish political party in Syria, PYD, was quoted as saying that the latest air strikes had been “extremely helpful”. “They are hitting Islamic State targets hard and because of those strikes we were able to push back a little. They are still shelling the city center.”
It was the largest number of air strikes on Kobani since the American-led campaign in Syria began last month, the Pentagon said.
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