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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Kurdish Fighters Try to Repel Islamic State Advances on Kobani

by VOA News October 11, 2014

Kurdish fighters on Saturday continued waging a fierce attempt to defend the Syrian-Kurdish city of Kobani near the Turkish border, which is in danger of falling to Islamic State militants.

A senior Kurdish official told the Associated Press the clashes have been mostly in the southern and eastern parts of the city. He said the situation is dire and appealed for help.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday that Islamic State fighters were in control of 40 percent of Kobani.

Kurdish fighters are trying to halt a three-week offensive by the Islamic State on the strategic border city, as militants aim to take complete control of the area.

The U.S. military has been carrying out airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Kobani, but it is unclear if the strikes have slowed the Islamists' advance on the city.

The U.S. military said its warplanes continued to target Islamic State fighters in Syria on Saturday, while U.S. and coalition aircraft attacked Islamist sites in Iraq. The U.S. military also conducted airdrops to help resupply Iraqi forces.

Leaders in Iraq's western Anbar province appealed for the deployment of U.S. ground forces to halt the advance of Islamic State fighters.

The president of the Anbar Provincial Council, Sabah Al-Karhout, told CNN the situation is 'very bad.' He said the Council has intelligence the Islamic State has sent at as many as 10,000 fighters to Anbar from Syria and Mosul in the north.

Islamic State fighters have taken control of large sections of northern and western Iraq.

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