US-led coalition targets ISIL to save Syrian city

Islamic Extremism

The U.S-led coalition has launched nearly a dozen airstrikes against ISIL in the past two days. The Pentagon says air raids in Iraq destroyed two ISIL checkpoints, several buildings and artillery in Fallujah, Ramadi and the Sinjar Mountain.

The coalition also pounded ISIL targets in Syria. Half of the strikes reportedly targeted the besieged town of Kobani and destroyed a number of ISIL gun trucks and artillery pieces there. The air bombardment also destroyed an active ISIL training camp near Ar Raqqah. CCTV America’s Alaa Ebrahim reports from Syria.

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Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, has been facing an onslaught from three sides since last month, forcing nearly 130,000, most of them Kurdish Syrians, to flee to neighboring Turkey. The area has been one of the most active fronts in Syria in recent days. The secular Kurdish militia, known as the Popular Protection Units, are defending the town against militants of the Islamic State, a radical Sunni militia.

Islamic State militants, advancing along several fronts in northern Syria, have reportedly overrun more than two dozen mostly Kurdish villages, prompting terrified Kobani residents to abandon their homes out of fear of ethnic cleansing. Pro-Kurdish protests broke out Monday throughout Turkey in response to the militants’ advance on Kobani. The events turned deadly Wednesday as four people died in demonstrations, bringing to the total death toll to 19, according to local media reports.

Meanwhile, Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters,”Kobani could be taken. We recognize that. We’re doing everything we can from the air to try to halt the momentum of ISIL against that town,” he added, using a common acronym for the Islamic State group. “Air power is not going to be alone enough to save that city.”