MURSITPINAR, Turkey (AP) – The Islamic State (IS) group shelled a Syrian border crossing with Turkey on Friday to try and capture it and cut off the embattled town of Kobane.
The official, Idriss Nassan, said IS fighters aim to seize the crossing in order to close the noose around the town’s Kurdish defenders and prevent anyone from entering or leaving Kobani.
By mid-morning Friday, occasional gunfire and explosions that appeared to be rocket-propelled grenades and mortar shells could be heard from across the border in Turkey, and plumes of smoke were seen rising in the distance.
“Daesh is doing all it can to take the border crossing point through the farmlands east of the city,” Nassan said, using an Arabic acronym to refer to the IS group. “They think there might be help for the Kurds coming through the crossing so they want to control the border.”
Meanwhile, members of the main Kurdish militia known as the Peoples Protection Units or YPG, withdrew from a hill on the western outskirts of the town for tactical reasons, Nassan added, without giving further details.