ISIS Suffers Worst Day in Kobani Fighting, Loses at Least 50 Combatants

U.S.-led air strikes, influx of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces appear to turn tide against jihadists in strategic Syrian border town.

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Kurds fighting ISIS in Kobani, November 19, 2014.
Kurds fighting ISIS in Kobani, November 19, 2014.Credit: AP

ISIS has suffered its worst day of fighting in Kobani since it began trying to capture the strategic Syrian border town over two months ago, Al Jazeera reported Sunday.

At least 50 ISIS fighters were killed in the last 24 hours, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The deaths came as the result of combat, suicide bombings and U.S.-led air strikes, said the NGO.

Eleven Kurdish fighters and a Syrian combatant fighting with them in Kobani were also killed.

ISIS had seemed on the verge of overrunning Kobani and massacring its inhabitants when it assaulted the town in mid-September. Capturing it would have given the jihadist movement a wide swath of territory along the Syrian-Turkish border to mount and support its attacks in the region. But U.S.- led airstrikes, combined with the influx of fierce Iraqi Kurdish fighters, called peshmerga, appears to be turning the tide.

A spokesman for the Syrian Kurdish fighters in Kobani said it had taken full control of the border crossing there with Turkey.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, the peshmerga say they have taken back five key Kurdish villages that had fallen into ISIS's hands.

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