Kurds say ISIS militants near defeat in Kobane

The Los Angeles Times reports: Kurdish forces say the battle against Islamic State for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani has turned definitively in their favor following weeks of punishing U.S.-led airstrikes and the arrival of Kurdish reinforcements from Iraq.

Commanders belonging to the Popular Protection Units – YPG, by its Kurdish initials – said the intensive bombardment in recent days had allowed their fighters to seize several strategic hills from Islamic State militants.

The U.S Central Command on Monday reported nine new airstrikes in the Kobani area, hitting Islamic State fighting positions, staging areas and one “tactical” militant unit.

About 250 Islamic State fighters remain in Kobani, concentrated in the southeastern corner of town, Rafiq Baradar, a YPG commander from Kobani, said during a visit to the Turkish border town of Suruc.

“They will probably be finished in four or five days,” Baradar said in an interview here. [Continue reading…]

Reuters adds: Kurdish fighters captured six buildings used by Islamic State militants besieging the Syrian town of Kobani on Tuesday, and seized a large amount of the jihadist group’s weapons and ammunition, a group monitoring the war said….

Kurdish fighters seized six buildings used by Islamic State close to council offices in the north of the town and took a large quantity of rocket-propelled grenade launchers, guns and machine gun ammunition, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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