ISIS pushed back with help of U.S. airstrikes in Kobani
(CNN) — U.S. airstrikes have been hitting ISIS targets near Kobani for the last few days helping Kurdish fighters on the ground push back ISIS militants in the Syrian town, according to sources there.
U.S. fighter jets conducted at least 14 strikes near Kobani Wednesday and Thursday, according to U.S. Central Command.
Initial reports show the strikes hit 19 ISIS buildings and 10 other ISIS targets, including command posts, sniper positions and a staging location, the U.S. military said.
The battle for Kobani, which is not far from the Turkish border, has become a street fight over control of hills and neighborhoods witnessed by TV cameras pointed there from Turkey.
One Kurdish fighter told CNN Thursday that ISIS has been forced from many parts of the city, but still controls some key buildings including the hospital and the important Asayish building in the middle of Kobani, which served as headquarters for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG.
Kurdish forces do have control of the southwest entrance of the city and have taken some buildings back from ISIS fighters in one neighborhood, next to the heavily contested eastern industrial area of the city.
The airstrikes over the past few days have helped Kurdish YPG fighters turn into an offensive rather than a defensive force, according to one activist.
But, he adds, “there is still street fighting in the east and in the south” of Kobani.
ISIS pushing ahead in Iraq
ISIS militants have tightened their grip over an area about 15 miles south of Fallujah, an Anbar province official said Thursday.
ISIS has brought many of its fighters, armed with heavy weaponry and machinery, in order to attack and control the town of Amiryat al-Falluja, the head of the town’s council, Shaker Mahmoud, said Thusday.
Mahmoud urged the Iraqi government to send military reinforcements to support the security forces inside the town.
ISIS fighters also continue to surround a major airbase in the Iraq’s Anbar province and U.S. officials say they’re continuing airstrikes there to help Iraqi forces.
“In Anbar province our hope is to stop or halt that tactical initiative and momentum that they (ISIS) have,” Gen. John Allen, the special presidential envoy on ISIS, said Wednesday. It is clear that ISIS “has made substantial gains in Iraq,” he said.
ISIS car bomb in Baghdad
At least five people were killed and 15 were injured when two car bombs exploded in the al-Hurriya Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad Thursday, according to police. At least two people died when another car bomb exploded at a security checkpoint near al-Talbiya Bridge in eastern Baghdad.
ISIS released a statement claiming responsibility for the bombings.