Isis suicide bombers used Turkish territory to launch attack on Kobani, human rights group says

Turkey denies that the Islamist terror group used its territory in the attack yesterday

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The Independent Online

An Isis suicide bomb attack on the Syrian border town of Kobani was launched from across the border in Turkey, Kurdish officials have said.

Human rights observers from the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights corroborated reports that fighters used Turkish territory for the raid.

Nawaf Khalil, a spokesperson for Syria’s Kurish Democratic Union Party said Isis, also known as Islamic State, was attacking the embattled town “from four sides”.

The Turkish government confirmed that a bomb-loaded vehicle was detonated on the Syrian side of the border at Kobani, but denied the vehicle had crossed the border from Turkey.

"Claims that the vehicle reached the border gate by crossing through Turkish soil are a lie," read the statement released from the government press office at the border town of Suruc.

"Contrary to certain claims, no Turkish official has made any statement claiming that the bomb-loaded vehicle had crossed in from Turkey."

Isis fighters are said to be attacking the town from the south west with reports of heavy gunfire in the surrounding hills and black smoke rising above the urban area. Isis is reportedly using tanks and other armoured vehicles in the assault.

Mustafa Bali, a Kobani-based activist, told the Associated Press news agency that Isis fighters were positioned in grain silos on the Turkish side of the border and were launching attacks toward the border crossing point. "It is now clear that Turkey is openly cooperating with [Isis]," Bali said.

Kurdish fighters have been making up ground in Kobani since late October when well-armed Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters joined Syrian Kurds fighting against an Isis insurgency in the area. The Islamic militant group’s assault began in September, when it captured part of the town.

Turkey has been previously accused of taking a soft line against Isis in order to damage Kurdish forces. The regional power has fought a decades-long battle against Kurdish separatist militants in is eastern territory and worries that events in Iraq and Syria could increase the power of the Kurds in the region.

US vice president Joe Biden travelled to Turkey earlier this month to urge the country’s government to play a bigger role in the battle despite its differences with the Kurds.