Kurdish fighters make gains against Islamic State in Kobani

Kurdish fighters advanced Saturday in six neighborhoods of the Syrian town of Kobani, held by Islamic State militants. 

Kurdish fighters advanced Saturday in the contested northern Syrian town of Kobani after heavy clashes with the Islamic State group, a Kurdish official and an activist group said.

Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, said Kurdish fighters advanced in six neighborhoods and have besieged the IS-held cultural center east of town. He added that Kurdish fighters captured the Yarmouk school, southeast of Kobani where eight bodies of IS fighters were found.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the main Syrian Kurdish force known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG, killed several IS fighters.

The IS group began its Kobani offensive in mid-September, capturing parts of the town as well as dozens of nearby villages. Hundreds of fighters on both sides have been killed since.

Kurdish forces have gradually pushed the extremist group back in recent weeks with the help of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.

The push in Kobani came a day after YPG fighters opened a corridor between their positions in northeastern Syria and Mount Sinjar in neighboring Iraq where Iraqi peshmerga fighters have been on the offensive as well. Earlier this week, Iraqi peshmerga fighters were also able to open another corridor to Mount Sinjar.

Iraq's Kurdistan Region Security Council said peshmerga fighters launched a new offensive on Saturday toward Mount Sinjar and were able to capture the nearby area of Mushrefa.

The statement said that early Saturday, 32 truckloads of food, water and other aid departed from the northern Iraqi city of Erbil to Mount Sinjar through the "corridor established by the courageous Peshmerga forces."

The Islamic State group captured almost a third of Iraq and Syria earlier this year, plunging the region into deep crisis.

In early August, the militants captured Iraqi towns of Sinjar and Zumar, prompting tens of thousands of people from the Yazidi minority to flee to the mountain, where they became trapped. Many were eventually airlifted by a passageway through Syria back into Iraq, where they found refuge in Iraq's northern Kurdish semi-autonomous region.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Kurdish fighters make gains against Islamic State in Kobani
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2014/1220/Kurdish-fighters-make-gains-against-Islamic-State-in-Kobani
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe