Senior correspondent
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Oct 7, 2014

Street fighting rages in Syrian town as Islamic State moves in

MURSITPINAR Turkey (Reuters) – Street fighting raged between Kurdish defenders and Islamic State militants who advanced into Kobani on Monday after subjecting the Syrian border town to an assault lasting almost three weeks, residents and fighters said.

Islamic State had earlier raised its black flag over a building in the outskirts and forced thousands more of Kobani’s mainly Kurdish inhabitants to flee for their lives across the nearby border into Turkey.

Oct 6, 2014

Islamic State raises flag in eastern Kobani, Kurds say town has not fallen

MURSITPINAR Turkey (Reuters) – Islamic State militants raised their flag on a building on the eastern outskirts of the Syrian border town of Kobani on Monday after an assault of almost three weeks, but the town’s Kurdish defenders said they had not reached the city centre.

A black flag belonging to Islamic State was visible from across the Turkish border atop a four-storey building close to the scene of some of the most intense clashes in recent days.

Oct 6, 2014

Kurds vow to fight to the last as Islamic State tightens grip on Syrian town

MURSITPINAR/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Outgunned Kurdish fighters vowed on Monday not to abandon their increasingly desperate efforts to defend the Syrian border town of Kobani from Islamic State militants pressing in from three sides and pounding them with heavy artillery.

The radical al Qaeda offshoot has been battling for more than two weeks to seize the predominantly Kurdish town, driving 180,000 people into neighboring Turkey.

Oct 5, 2014

Turkish hospital gives glimpse of Syria horror as Islamic State advance

SURUC Turkey (Reuters) – Within minutes of the young woman being carried into the Turkish hospital just over the border from Syria, it became clear that her shattered skull, concealed by bloodied bandages, was too serious for the small state facility to treat.

The unconscious woman in her 20s, whose name was not known, was another victim of the increasingly bloody clashes between Islamic State militants and Kurdish forces for control of the Syrian border town of Kobani, 10 km (six miles) to the south.

Oct 5, 2014

Kurds battle Islamist militants closing in on Syrian town

MURSITPINAR Turkey / BEIRUT (Reuters) – Kurdish forces battled overnight with Islamists trying to seize a hill overlooking a Syrian border town with Turkey as U.S.-led coalition warplanes carried out raids on the militants, a Kurdish official and a monitoring group said on Sunday.

A translator with the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) inside Kobani said Islamic State forces were hitting it with tank and mortar fire as they tried to seize Mistanour hill, a landmark whose capture would give them easy access to the town.

Sep 26, 2014

Islamic State siege of Syrian town threatens Turkey’s Kurdish peace

MURSITPINAR Turkey (Reuters) – The siege by Islamic State militants of a largely Kurdish Syrian border town has become a rallying point for Turkey’s Kurds, not just against the Sunni insurgents but against the Turkish state, endangering a fragile peace process with Ankara.

Fueled by suspicions that Turkey is supporting the Sunni Muslim militants, the Kurds have clashed at Mursitpinar in Turkey with security forces who have fired water cannon and tear gas partly in a bid to prevent them joining the fight across the border in the Syrian town of Kobani.

Sep 23, 2014

Kurds welcome air strikes on Islamic State, curse Turkey’s absence

MURSITPINAR Turkey (Reuters) – Kurds fleeing an onslaught by Islamic State fighters in northern Syria welcomed U.S.-led air strikes on Tuesday but cursed Turkey’s absence from the campaign, accusing it of supporting the Sunni Muslim insurgents.

Turkey, a NATO member with a major U.S. airbase, was conspicuously absent from the strikes launched by the United States and Arab allies against Islamic State, which has carved a self-proclaimed caliphate out of swathes of Syria and Iraq.

Sep 22, 2014

Turkey struggles with spillover as Syrian Kurds battle Islamic State

MURSITPINAR Turkey (Reuters) – Syrian Kurds battled to defend a key border town from an Islamic State advance on Monday as Kurdish youths from neighboring Turkey rushed to their aid, heightening the pressure on Ankara to act against the Islamist insurgents.

In Turkey, which is struggling to manage an influx of more than 130,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees since Friday, security forces fired tear gas and water cannon at hundreds of Kurdish protesters who accuse Ankara of favoring Islamic State against the Kurds.

Sep 21, 2014

Islamic State closes in on Syrian town, refugees flood into Turkey

SURUC Turkey/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State militants tightened their noose on a northern Syrian border town on Sunday as the United Nations said the number of Syrian Kurds fleeing into neighbouring Turkey may have topped 100,000 and was likely to go much higher.

Residents fleeing the frontier town of Ayn al-Arab, known in Kurdish as Kobani, and its surrounding villages said the militants were executing people of all ages in the areas they had seized to create a climate of fear and slavish obedience.

Sep 21, 2014

Kurds issue new call to arms against Islamic State in Syria

SURUC Turkey (Reuters) – Kurdish militants in Turkey have issued a new call to arms to defend a border town in northern Syria from advancing Islamic State fighters, and the Turkish authorities and United Nations prepared on Sunday for a surge in refugees.

About 70,000 Syrian Kurds have fled into Turkey since Friday as Islamic State fighters seized dozens of villages close to the border and advanced on the frontier town of Ayn al-Arab, known as Kobani in Kurdish.

    • About Daren

      "I am based in Istanbul where I cover a broad range of financial and general news. I joined Reuters in Ankara in 1996 and left Turkey to work in London in 2000. I returned to Istanbul in 2003."
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