Syria Kurds 'recapture' areas of Kobane from Islamic State

Kurdish people demonstrate in the south-eastern border village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province, on Nov 10, 2014, opposite the Syrian town of Kobane. Kurds battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group in Kobane reportedly made advances on Tue
Kurdish people demonstrate in the south-eastern border village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province, on Nov 10, 2014, opposite the Syrian town of Kobane. Kurds battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group in Kobane reportedly made advances on Tuesday in the south of the flashpoint Syrian town on the border with Turkey. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIRUT (AFP) - Kurds battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in Kobane reportedly made advances Tuesday in the south of the flashpoint Syrian town on the border with Turkey.

Top Kurdish officials told AFP their fighters were advancing "street by street", voicing confidence that the ISIS would soon be ejected.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights backed up the report.

"The (Kurdish) People's Protection Units (YPG) recaptured streets and buildings in the south of Kobane, after a fierce battle against ISIS that began yesterday (Monday) evening," said the Britain-based Observatory.

The monitor also said the YPG and its Iraqi peshmerga backers shelled ISIS positions on Tuesday elsewhere in Kobane, which is known in Arabic as Ain al-Arab.

On Monday night, the US-led coalition that launched air strikes in Syria in September hit ISIS positions in Kobane's southeast.

Kobane has been under ISIS siege since mid-September.

Syria's Kurds are being backed by Iraqi peshmerga fighters and Syrian rebels in their bid to reclaim the town from the hands of the extremist Sunni Islam group.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in the fighting for Kobane, most of them jihadists.

Syrian Kurdish chief Saleh Muslim said the YPG were advancing "street by street" and that they would "recapture the town in a very short time".

And the Kurds' top field commander in Kobane, Narin Afrin, a 40-year-old woman, said by telephone: "We have been resisting for 56 days in very difficult conditions."

Kobane has become a symbol of resistance against radical Islamist fighters who control swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, committing brutal abuses against rivals and the local population.