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Islamic State Supporters Refute Kurdish Gains in Kobane

A video released today shows a militant claiming to be standing on the outer edges of the key Syrian town pointing to a lack of Kurdish forces in Kobane.

by Liz Fields
Nov 20 2014, 5:00pm

Image via YouTube/Aamaq News

An Islamic State-linked media organization has claimed that reports of fresh advances made by Kurdish militia in and around the embattled Syrian town of Kobane, near the Turkish Border, are false.

Aamaq News released a video today purporting to refute recent reports that Kurdish forces backed by US-led airstrikes have beaten back Sunni Islamist extremist fighters and recaptured precious territory in Kobane, also known as Ayn al Arab.

The short video clip shows an armed and masked fighter standing on a deserted dirt road apparently on the southern outskirts of the town, pointing to the lack of presence of Kurdish forces that allegedly "cut through Kobane" this week.

Meet the Kurdish suicide bomber planning to attack the Islamic State in Kobane. Read more here.

Video released by Aamaq News, an activist media group that supports the Islamic State on November 20.

Syrian Kurdish forces bolstered by Iraqi Kurds, known as the peshmerga, reportedly recaptured six buildings from the Islamic State in Kobane and seized masses of weapons and ammunition from the group on Tuesday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based monitoring group.

Kurds have battled to protect the strategically important town since mid-September, with coalition airstrikes called in to support ground troops and bomb Islamic State targets.

If captured, Kobane would provide the Islamic State with a corridor all the way from the Syrian cities of Raqqa and Aleppo through to Turkey. The group has so far seized at least a third of Iraq and key areas of Syria, establishing a self-declared caliphate over the areas it controls since launching their bloody offensive across the region this summer.

Turkey and the Kurds hold the key to defeating the Islamic State. Read More.

Since last Wednesday, the number of Kurdish fighters in Kobane has swelled to 1,800, according to SOHR.

At least 200,000 Kurds have been displaced and forced to flee their homes as a result of violent clashes in Kobane and the surrounding countryside, SOHR estimates reveal.

It is not clear whether Aamaq's claims in the video are overblown, especially as the fighter appears to be located more than a mile away from the town's center. The media group previously released another video in late October claiming to show Islamic State militants rifling through a US military drop of weapons and aid meant for Kurdish troops near Kobane.

Video: Islamic State claims to have captured US weapons airdrop near Kobane. Read more here.

Follow Liz Fields on Twitter: @lianzifields