Over 300 Kobane Defenders killed in 40 Days

Sun Oct 26, 2014 16:51:02

More than 334 Kurdish have been killed in ground fighting for Kobane since ISIS group militants attacked the Syrian Kurdish enclave on September 16, a monitoring group said Sunday.

The terrorists have lost 481 dead, while 313 Kurds have been killed fighting to defend the area, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.The figures do not include IS losses to US-led air strikes, which the Pentagon has claimed run to "several hundred."

Civilians accounted for 21 of the dead. The terrorist assault prompted nearly all of the enclave's population to flee, with some 200,000 refugees streaming over the border into neighboring Turkey. 

ISIS militants tried to seize a border post in Kobani on the Turkish frontier overnight but were repulsed by Kurdish fighters, Reuters reported.

ISIS fighters have been trying to capture Kobani, known as Ayn al-Arab in Arabic, for over a month, pressing their assault despite U.S.-led air strikes on their positions and the deaths of hundreds of their fighters.

Idris Nassan, a local Kurdish official, said ISIS fighters had shelled Kobani's border gate on Saturday night but Kurdish fighters had pushed them back in the south and west, "Of course they will try again tonight. Last night they brought new reinforcements, new supplies, and they are pushing hard," he said.

To lose the border gate - the only official way for the Kurdish fighters in Kobani to cross into Turkey - would be a major blow to the fighters defending the town as well as the civilians who still remain.

Iraqi Kurdish "peshmerga" fighters are expected to arrive to reinforce the fighters in Kobani, who are mostly members of the Syrian Kurdish YPG armed group, but it is unclear when.

Meanwhile Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Turkish reporters aboard his presidential plane that the Syrian Kurdish party the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which has been leading the defence of Kobane, feared losing its influence in northern Syria when the peshmerga arrive and added “The PYD does not want the peshmerga to come”.

He also called the PYD a "terror" organisation, highlighting Turkey's wary stance towards Kurdish groups demanding an autonomous Kurdish state straddling the border with Turkey.

Erdogan said last week that the peshmerga would be joined in the defence of Kobane by 1,300 fighters from the Syrian armed rebel forces called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) who are backed by Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, US and other regional and international forces who are struggling to topple Syrian government.

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