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Friday, October 24, 2014

U.S. officials: Kobane no longer on brink - Extraordinary moment massive US airstrike obliterated jihadis' emblem flying on hill above Kobane

   Fusillade: Smoke and dust rise over Syrian town of Kobane after another airstrike, as seen from the Mursitpinar crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province today

The Northern Syrian city of Kobane is no longer on the brink of falling to the control of Islamist State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Kurdish fighters there likely will be able to hold out indefinitely, U.S. officials said.

The Islamic State's black jihadist flag has been obliterated in a devastating airstrike by American forces on a Kobane hillside controlled by the militant group. Islamic State (IS) jihadist are seen just before the launch of an air strike  on Tilsehir hill near Turkish border

The front lines between ISIS and Kurdish forces have not moved for more than a week and “I think the Kurdish defenders ...are going to be able to hold,” a defense official at U.S. Central Command was quoted by AFP on condition of anonymity.

Just moments later the hillside erupts into flames as what appears to be a member of the terrorist group looks on, clouds of dust rolling towards them   

The U.S. military admitted on Wednesday that a cache of weapons dropped over Kobane drifted off course and likely ended up in the hands of ISIS militants instead of Kurdish forces.
The U.S. military and its allies have intensified air strikes to turn back the militant group in both Syrian and Iraq this week, the U.S. military said on Thursday. A total of 15 strikes were staged against ISIS in Iraq and Syria on Wednesday and Thursday, the Central Command said in a statement carried by Reuters. 

The statement said U.S. fighter and bomber aircraft staged four strikes near the key border city of Kobane, destroying an ISIS control center and fighting positions in an area that has often been targeted this month, and two more that knocked out oil tanks east of Dawr Az Zawr.

The 'figure' can be seen seemingly standing his ground as clouds of dust roll down the hillside. The pictures were captured at Yumurtalik village, in Sanliurfa province  

Four air strikes by U.S. and allied forces in Iraq near the vital Mosul Dam hit small ISIS units and destroyed a vehicle while another attack near Bayji took out a fighting position. Four strikes in the Fallujah area targeted a training facility, a larger Islamic State unit and a building.

A U.S. military official told AFP on Thursday that the Iraqi army is still months away from staging a major offensive to retake territory lost to ISIS.
“It's well within their capability to do that, on the order of months, not years,” said a military official, speaking on condition of anonymity. But he added: “It’s not imminent.”

The pictures were captured at Yumurtalik village, in Sanliurfa province. Turkey, which has riled Kurdish leaders and frustrated Washington by refusing to allow fighters or weapons into Kobane, said this week it would help Iraqi Kurdish fighters cross into Syria to help their brethren against the militants  

Kobane has seen intensive fighting over the past few weeks, and Kurdish forces appear to be turning the tide against ISIS   

 Chilling: ISIS' black jihadist flag (background) was still visible in Kobane this morning - despite Kurdish territorial gains and weeks of sustained airstrikes by American and Arab warplanes. The flag is just a few hundred feet away from where the yellow, triangular flag of the Kurdish People's Protection Unit can be seen fluttering above a largely destroyed housing complex (foreground)  

A shepherd tends his flock in the outskirts of the Syrian town of Kobane this morning as fighting between ISIS and Kurds continues   

 Smoke and dust is seen rising over the Syrian town of Kobane after U.S. warplanes carry out a bombing raid on Islamic State targets



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