US reports 18 strikes against Islamic State in Syria's Kobani, five in Iraq

Reuters , Wednesday 15 Oct 2014

Smoke rises from a fire in Kobani, Syria, following an strike during fighting between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, as seen from Mursitpinar on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, Wedesday, Oct. 15, 2014 (Photo: AP)

US aircraft carried out 18 strikes on Islamic State positions near the besieged Syrian border town of Kobane and five strikes against the group in Iraq on Tuesday and Wednesday, the U.S. military's Central Command said.

The planes struck 16 buildings occupied by Islamic State militants and destroyed several of their fighting positions near Kobane, a Kurdish town on the Syrian border with Turkey, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

It said four strikes near Baiji, the site of Iraq's largest oil refinery, destroyed an artillery piece, a Humvee, a machine gun and a building used by the group, which has seized large parts of Iraq and Syria.

Another strike near Haditha Dam in Iraq destroyed an armed vehicle, the statement said.

On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama met with military leaders from a coalition including Arab states, Turkey and Western allies that he is leading in the fight against Islamic State.

"Coalition air strikes will continue in both of these areas," Obama said during the meeting outside Washington, voicing deep concern about the situation in Kobane as well as in Iraq's Anbar province, which is at risk of being seized by Islamic State militants.

Aircraft from some of the coalition partners joined U.S. planes in previous air strikes in Syria and Iraq, but Wednesday's statement made no mention of any other country participating in the latest attacks.

The U.S. military has named the coalition operation against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria "Inherent Resolve," a U.S. military official said on Wednesday.

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