human rights watch

onsdag 24 september 2014

IS jihadists terrorist send reinforcements to Westkurdistan rojava Kobani

IS jihadists terrorist send reinforcements to Westkurdistan rojava Kobani
BEIRUT,— The Islamic State group has reinforced fighters who are battling Kurdish YPG forces for control of a Kurdish city in Syrian Kurdistan at the border with Turkey, a Kurdish military official said.

Ocalan Iso, deputy leader of the Kurdish People's Defence Units (YPG) forces defending the town of Kobani at the Turkish border, said more IS fighters and tanks had arrived since the US-led coalition began air strikes on the group.

"The number of their fighters has increased, the number of their tanks has increased since the bombardment of Raqqa," Mr Iso said.

IS-controlled territory in the city and province of Raqqa was hit in the air strikes by a US-led alliance Tuesday.

He said Islamic State forces had advanced to within 8km of the southern periphery of Kobani, which may is also known as Ayn al-Arab - closer than they had been at any stage.

Earlier, air strikes overnight hit IS territory in Syria near the Turkish border, an organisation that tracks violence in the Syrian war said.

Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the warplanes that carried out the raids west of the city of Kobani, had come from the direction of Turkey.

The US military confirmed it had launched five airstrikes targeting Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, US Central Command said in a statement.

One strike hit northwest of Al Qa'im in Syria, it said.

Meanwhile, the UN envoy for Syria has called the fight against jihadists in Syria "a game changer", and said US air strikes could even help ease humanitarian needs.

In order to move at the moment there is obviously a game changer and the game changer is Daesh and the fight against Daesh," Staffan de Mistura told reporters at UN headquarters, referring to IS by the Arabic acronym for the group's full original name.

He said the current period was "delicate" and "dangerous" but that the priority was to care for the 11 million Syrians desperately in need of aid despite the welter of crises facing the world.

Elsewhere, British Prime Minister David Cameron is set to recall the country's parliament, which is currently in recess, to seek approval for joining the United States-led airstrikes against the Islamic State group’s strongholds in Iraq, according to a report by The Guardian.

There is reportedly a growing consensus in the U.K. that if Baghdad requests it, there will be a strong legal basis to launch airstrikes in Iraq. However, there is less clarity over whether the U.K. should join the airstrikes being carried out in Syria.

Cameron, on Tuesday, had given a strong indication that the U.K. might join the airstrikes in northern Iraq. He reportedly expressed support for the U.S. action in Iraq and Syria, and said that the U.K could “not opt out of” the fight against the Sunni militant group, which has taken over significant portions of territory in northern Syria and Iraq in its bid to establish an Islamic caliphate.

 Reuters | |

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