MIDDLE EAST

Kurds seize most of Kobane from ISIS: monitor

The international coalition fighting ISIS has sought to disrupt the group’s crude oil supplies, repeatedly targeting refineries, oil tanker trucks and various makeshift depots in Syria. (File Photo: AFP)

Kurdish fighters have seized the security and government district of Syria's Kobane from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group and now control 80 percent of the border town, a monitoring group said Monday.

"The People's Protection Units (YPG) fighting the jihadists [ISIS] for nearly four months have full control of the security district," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based group said Kurdish fighters had seized control of the area after fierce clashes since Sunday night.

The U.S.-led coalition on Sunday also conducted eight bombing runs near the northern town of Kobane, targeting ISIS troops that have waged a months-long battle to seize the area near the Turkish border.

ISIS began its assault on Kobane in mid-September and came close to overrunning the town, which is also known as Ain al-Arab.

But Kurdish fighters, backed by international air strikes, have been able to gradually recapture territory in the small town, which is strategic because of its location on the border.

Strikes against ISIS-held oil sites

U.S. and coalition aircraft on Sunday targeted a crude oil pipeline and collection depots in Syria held by ISIS, the American military said, in the latest bid to undercut the group's oil smuggling.

Allied fighter jets and bombers carried out 14 air raids near the eastern city of Deir-al-Zour since Sunday morning, including six strikes on five crude oil collection points, a pipeline, armored vehicles and a shipping container, the U.S. military said in a statement.

The international coalition fighting ISIS has sought to disrupt the group’s crude oil supplies, repeatedly targeting refineries, oil tanker trucks and various makeshift depots in Syria.

ISIS has made substantial profits from illegal oil sales, offering cheap prices far below the market rate. The group also relies on money from ransoms, smuggling of antiquities and extortion in areas under its control.

 

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Last Update: Monday, 5 January 2015 KSA 21:15 - GMT 18:15
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Kurds seize most of Kobane from ISIS: monitor
U.S. and coalition aircraft target a crude oil pipeline and collection depots in Syria held by ISIS
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