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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, July 19, 2018

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30 Kurdish militants killed in blasts in northern Syria

Oppositional Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported

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At least 30 Kurdish militants were killed Monday when the Islamic State (IS) militants staged two blasts in Syria's northern province of Hasaka, the oppositional Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The blasts were carried out by two IS fighters driving two explosive-laden trucks, which ripped through two centers of the Kurdish People's Protection Unites, or YPG, and the Asayish at the western entrance of Hasaka, according to the Observatory.

A third blast is also believed to have targeted a checkpoint of the Asayish in that area, said the Observatory. Asayish is the security Kurdish organization and the primary intelligence agency operating in the Kurdistan region in Iraq.

Hundreds of Kurdish fighters have reportedly entered Syria through Turkey and Iraq to defend their fellow Kurds against the Islamic State wide-scale offensive against predominantly Kurdish areas in northern Syria, namely the city of Kobane in Aleppo province, bordering Turkey.

Kobane, also known as Ayn al-Arab, has been subject to ferocious attacks by IS militants over the past two weeks. IS fighters have succeeded in capturing hundreds of Kurdish villages around Kobane, sending tens of thousands of people fleeing toward the Turkish borders.

Kurdish activists accused Turkey of cooperating with the IS to empty the city of its residents so that it could impose a buffer zone on the Syrian side of the borders under the pretext of helping the refugees.

The U.S.-led anti-terror coalition has repeatedly struck IS positions around Kobane, but did not stop the ferocious attacks by the group.

Syrian Kurds have reached a deadlock in their fight with IS militants who have repeatedly tried to storm Kurdish dominated Syrian areas. Accounting for some 15 percent of the Syria's 23 million population, the Kurds are mostly living in the northern part of the embattled country.

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