posted at 21:50
Author Name: Fulya Ozerkan with Serene Assir in Beirut
Kurds thwart new IS bid to cut off Syrias Kobane
The pre-dawn assault marked the fourth straight day the jihadists had attacked the Syrian side of the border crossing as the Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters prepare to head for Kobane, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The peshmerga forces are "Ready to go", but they are not expected to deploy to Kobane before Monday at the earliest, Kurdish news agency Rudaw reported. Kurdish forces, backed by US-led air strikes, have been holding out for weeks against an IS offensive around Kobane, which has become a high-profile symbol of efforts to stop the jihadist advance. The US military said in its latest update that American warplanes carried out five air strikes near Kobane on Saturday and Sunday, destroying seven IS vehicles and an IS-held building. Ground fighting for Kobane has killed more than 800 people since the IS offensive began on September 16, with the jihadists losing 481 fighters and the Kurds 313, said the Britain-based Observatory, which relies on a network of sources inside Syria for its information. Last week, under heavy US pressure, Turkey unexpectedly announced it would allow the peshmerga fighters to cross its territory to join the fight for Kobane. The Democratic Union Party which dominates Kobane agreed to the offer of the peshmerga troops. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan charged in comments published Sunday that the "Terror" group did not really want the peshmerga forces to deploy to Kobane for fear of seeing its influence diminished.

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