#AceNewsServices – IRAQ – October 05 – Kurdish forces battled overnight with Islamists trying to seize a hill overlooking a Syrian border town with Turkey as U.S.-led coalition war-planes carried out raids on the militants, a Kurdish official and a monitoring group said on Sunday.
A translator with the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) inside Kobani said Islamic State forces were hitting it with tank and mortar fire as they tried to seize Mistanour hill, a landmark whose capture would give them easy access to the town.
Kurdish forces had managed to stop Islamic State capturing the hill, Parwer Mohammed Ali told Reuters.
‘ Map of Syrian-Turkey Border ‘
“Overnight there were new air-strikes. They struck three or four times in the vicinity Mistanour hill,” he added.
Islamic State, a radical offshoot of al Qaeda, launched a new offensive to capture Kobani, a Kurdish town, two weeks ago as they try consolidate their hold on a stretch of territory across northern Syria and Iraq.
U.S-led air raids on Islamic State in Syria have done little to blunt its advance on Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, and the violence has driven about some 180,000 Kurds into Turkey.
Turkey has shown no sign it will intervene to directly confront Islamic State on its borders. It sees the Kurdish armed groups defending Kobani as foes.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the three-year-old Syrian war, said Islamic State has managed to capture the southern side of Mistanour hill, the furthest away from the town.
At least 11 Kurdish fighters and 16 Islamic State insurgents were killed in the overnight clashes, it said.
Ocalan Iso, deputy commander of the Kurdish forces defending Kobani, said the clashes had focused on the hill, which lies to the south east. Islamic State forces are now within a kilometre of Kobani, he said by telephone.