Kobani, the Syrian border town that was recaptured by Kurdish forces in January, is under attack once again. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on informants on the ground in Syria, “dozens” were killed and wounded in a car bomb blast in the city as militants belonging to the Islamic State group staged an attack on the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) Thursday.
It is not immediately clear how many people were killed in the attack as various news sources are citing different numbers. According to Al Jazeera, which cited a Turkish news agency, at least 8 people were killed and 38 were wounded when the booby-trapped vehicle blew up. According to Reuters, which cited local hospital officials, 12 people were killed and 70 were wounded in the attack.
Clashes between the Kurdish forces and ISIS militants are believed to be still going on after the latter staged the attack “from three sides of the town.”
Kobani, located in northern Syria along the border with Turkey, was recaptured in January after a protracted and bloody battle between the Kurds -- aided by U.S. airstrikes -- and ISIS. Many of the hundreds of thousands of residents of the town, who had fled across the border into Turkey to escape the fighting, have since returned.
The civilians in Kobani have been reportedly asked by the YPG to stay home as it sent reinforcements to the town.
Meanwhile, ISIS was successful in seizing at least two neighborhoods from government forces in the northeastern Syrian city of Hassakeh overnight Thursday, according to media reports.
“Heavy fighting is continuing, with shelling by both sides," Observatory Director Rami Abdel Rahman reportedly said.