Washington: The US inflicted heavy damage on ISIL as it bombarded several positions of the terrorist outfit near Kobani as part of its effort to prevent it from taking over the key Syrian city on the Turkish border.
Using bomber and fighter aircraft, US conducted 14 airstrikes.
Initial reports indicate the strikes successfully struck 19 ISIL buildings, two ISIL command posts, three ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL sniper positions, one ISIL staging location, and one ISIL heavy machine gun, the US Central Command said.
These airstrikes are designed to interdict ISIL reinforcements and resupply and prevent ISIL from massing combat power on the Kurdish held portions of Kobani, it said.
“Indications are that airstrikes have continued to slow ISIL advances, but that the security situation on the ground in Kobani remains tenuous,” CENTCOM added.
The US strikes are being conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL and the threat they pose to Iraq, the region and the wider international community.
The destruction and degradation of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group’s ability to lead, control, project power and conduct operations, it argued.
The United States has been conducting air strikes at ISIL positions near Kobani for the past several days.
A large number of people have already evacuated the city.
“ISIL has made no secret of the fact that they want that town. And so they have continued to flow fighters to Kobani, meaning there are more targets in and around Kobani,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday.
“So one of the reasons why you’re seeing more strikes there is because there’s more ISIL there. We believe – that we have killed several hundred ISIL fighters, again, in and around Kobani,” Kirby said.
“Kobani could still fall. It could very well still fall,” he feared.
Describing the situation in the region as fluid, he said: “But by and large, our assessment today is that Kurdish militia still hold it.”
The situation in Anbar province remains contested. There are pockets around Fallujah and Ramadi that ISIL still possess, he added.
“Likewise, there are parts of Anbar province that the Iraqi security forces are in control and are fighting for to either maintain or to re-obtain. A full third of the Iraqi security forces, the Iraqi army are stationed in al-Anbar,” he said.