ISIS enters Kobani, street combat begins

Today (October 5), ISIS forces captured the southeastern hill overlooking Kobani and breached the town entrance below it (see maps below) as shells rained down inside the town. Fresh U.S. airstrikes the same day appeared to have almost no effect. Syrian Kurdish YPG/YPJ resistance fighters continue to fiercely defend every meter of land, as block-by-block fighting began on the southeast. On the other side of the town, ISIS siege forces continue to tighten the noose and are still pressing up the Aleppo Road to the southwest entrance. Here’s the report from CNN:

ISIS intensified its attack on the city of Kobani as militants took a strategic hill Sunday evening and entered the southeastern edge of the city, a fighter and a media activist inside the city tell CNN.

The sources, who both requested their names be withheld for security reasons, said street-to-street fighting has started in Kobani.
[…]
ISIS fighters overpowered Kurdish forces to take the top and the eastern side of Meshta Nour, the strategic hill overlooking Kobani, the sources said.

A civilian source inside Kobani said there have been heavy clashes on all fronts around Kobani and that ISIS forces had been moved back from a small corner of the city they’d held for two days.

The Kurdish People’s Protection Unit, or YPG, said in a statement that 86 “terrorists” were killed during a 24-hour period and 17 YPG members died.

On Sunday, smoke billowed over Kobani as ISIS sent bombs into the middle of town.

Kobani is now tightly surrounded in a crescent from the Aleppo road on the southwestern outskirts of the city all the way to the eastern edge of Kobani, near the Turkish border, the fighter and media activist said.

ISIS is making inroads despite airstrikes by U.S. and allied forces, including Sunday’s strikes on the eastern outskirts of the city.

The YPG destroyed an ISIS tank in the east of Kobani near Kane Kordan, a large mound on the eastern side of the city, the civilian source said.

ISIS fighters are now about about one kilometer south on the Aleppo road, the civilian source said.

 
Turkey’s parliament voted last week to authorize participation in the coalition efforts in Syria against ISIS, and more than two dozen tanks are still sitting on the other side of the border from Kobani, but no action has been taken yet. Turkish security forces clashed with increasingly enraged Kurdish protesters who are upset over Turkish inaction against the dozen of ISIS tanks and heavy artillery positions pounding away at the town within line of sight. On Saturday, commentator Juan Cole suggested that the Battle of Kobani might prove to be the “Kurdish Alamo.”

Labeled overhead map of Kobani / Ayn Al-Arab, Syria, October 5, 2014. Click map to enlarge or click here to navigate in Google Maps.

Labeled overhead map of Kobani / Ayn Al-Arab, Syria, October 5, 2014. Click map to enlarge or click here to navigate in Google Maps.

Labeled digital rendering, looking eastward, of Kobani / Ayn Al-Arab, Syria, October 5, 2014. ISIS captured the hill on the right, allowing it to shell the town center Click map to enlarge or click here to navigate in Google Maps.

Labeled digital rendering, looking eastward, of Kobani / Ayn Al-Arab, Syria, October 5, 2014. ISIS captured the hill on the right, allowing it to shell the town center. Click map to enlarge or click here to navigate in Google Maps.

Labeled digital rendering, looking northward, of Kobani / Ayn Al-Arab, Syria, October 5, 2014. ISIS captured the hill on the bottom, allowing it to shell the town center Click map to enlarge or click here to navigate in Google Maps.

Labeled digital rendering, looking northward, of Kobani / Ayn Al-Arab, Syria, October 5, 2014. ISIS captured the heights just southeast, allowing it to shell the town center. Click map to enlarge or click here to navigate in Google Maps.

Bill Humphrey

About Bill Humphrey

Bill Humphrey is the primary host of WVUD's Arsenal For Democracy talk radio show and is a Senior Editor for The Globalist. Follow him @BillHumphreyMA on twitter.
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