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U.S. Airstrikes Reportedly Drive ISIS From Eastern Kobani

Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Kobani after an airstrike, seen from near the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province on Tuesday.
Umit Bektas Reuters /Landov
Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Kobani after an airstrike, seen from near the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province on Tuesday.

Islamic State militants who reportedly captured a part of eastern Kobani in northern Syria, where they raised the group's black flag, appear to have been at least temporarily driven from their positions by U.S.-led airstrikes.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights http://syriahr.com/en/ says airstrikes have pushed ISIS out of the city's east, where the extremist group's flag had suddenly appeared above a city gate on Monday.

The militants have been trying for weeks to capture Kobani, which has been fiercely defended by Kurdish forces.

The Washington Post says:

"Capturing [Kobani] would give the Islamic State control over a longer stretch of the Turkish-Syrian border and open potential new smuggling lines for fighters and supplies. "NATO member Turkey has authorized its military to cross the border to confront the militant group, but Turkish commanders have held back their tanks and troops from aiding Syrian Kurdish forces trying to hold [Kobani]."

Meanwhile, The Associated Press reports that Kurdish activists "have forced their way into the European Parliament and clashed with police in Turkey. The protests are part of Europe-wide demonstrations against the Islamic State group's advance. Turkish police used water cannons and tear gas today against the demonstrators."

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