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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Kobani Death Toll Exceeds 400: Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

RIA Novosti

19:26 07/10/2014

MOSCOW, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - More than 400 people have died during the 20 days of clashes between the Kurdish fighters and the Islamic State (IS) militants in the Syrian town of Kobani on the border with Turkey, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Tuesday.

'The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights could document the death of 412 people since the beginning of IS attack on Ayn al- Arab [Kobani] area in September 16,' SOHR said on its Facebook account.

According to SOHR, 219 of the victims are the IS militants, 163 are from Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and 20 are Kurdish civilians.

SOHR has noted that the real number of casualties from both sides may be double that number, 'because there is absolute secrecy on casualties and due to the difficulty of access to many areas and villages that have witnessed violent clashes and bombardment by the two sides.'

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories under its control in both countries.

Islamic State militants have been besieging Kobani, which is one of the largest towns in the Kurdish region bordering Turkey, for the last three weeks.

In August, the United States started launching airstrikes against the IS positions in Iraq. In September, the attacks of the US and its allies were extended to Syria.

Earlier this week, Idris Nassan, a senior speaker for Kurdish fighters called the airstrikes against IS targets in Syria, conducted by the US-led international coalition, ineffective, noting that the fighter jets cannot hit every single IS fighter on the ground.

On Tuesday, CNN, reporting about new airstrikes conducted overnight, has quoted one of the Kurdish fighters as saying that finally the airstrikes are hitting the right places.

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