Kurds, jihadists in heavy fighting near Turkish border

The jihadists have laid siege to the town for nearly four weeks

Mursitpinar: Heavy fighting broke out on Monday between Islamist jihadists and Kurdish fighters close to the Turkish border just north of the besieged Syrian town of Kobane, an AFP correspondent reported.

The clashes threatened to cut all access from Kobane to the Turkish border and block the passage which which has so far allowed some 200,000 refugees from the Kobane area to find refuge in Turkey.

Clashes with automatic gunfire and mortar fire were taking place an an area less than one kilometre (half a mile) from the barbed wire fence that marks the border between Syria and Turkey, the correspondent on the Turkish side of the border reported.

Meanwhile the US-led international coalition carried out at least two new air strikes against positions held by Islamic State militants (IS) in and around Kobane.

The first took place a little before 0430 GMT, witnesses said, while the second in the late morning struck at the heart of Kobane and sent a huge plume of smoke into the sky, the correspondent reported.

Turkey has so far not intervened in the battle for Kobane despite building up its military presence on the border. Over the last day, new Turkish tanks and artillery arrived with their weaponry pointing towards Kobane.

US officials said at the weekend that Turkey agreed to let American forces use its air bases for the campaign against the jihadists. But this has yet to be confirmed by Ankara.

( Source : reuters )
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