Kurdish fighters have reportedly captured a strategic hilltop just outside of the Syria-Turkey border town of Kobane, in the ongoing fight with the Islamic State.
A strategic hilltop just outside of the border town of Kobane, on the Syria-Turkey border, has been ‘captured’ by Kurdish fighters in their ongoing battle against the Islamic State.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and local officials said Kurdish units gained control of the hill after fierce clashes. Monitors from the Observatory said the capture of the Mishtenur hill, which overlooks the embattled town, meant that key IS resupply routes were within the line of fire.
The Observatory said 11 Islamic State fighters were killed and large quantities of weapons and ammunition were seized.
A Kobane-based Kurdish official told press that the clashes had led to casualties on both sides.
Recapture of Mishtenur hill could prove to be a defining moment for the fate of Kobane, in the normally very slow pace of the war. It shows Kurdish fighters are able to confront IS in rural parts at the outskirts of the city despite the long-range weapons the jihadist militants have, he adds.
IS militants have been trying to gain control of Kobane since September, but have been meeting fierce resistance from Kurdish fighters. Hundreds of people have been killed and more than 200,000 refugees have fled into neighbouring Turkey.
In recent weeks Kurdish units have been advancing with the support of anti-IS air strikes conducted by the US-led coalition.