By Peter Clifford © (www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-iraq-news-5/)
SYRIA and IRAQ NEWS
As the Kurds edge even nearer to Tal Abyad, the YPG took back another 5 villages from the Islamic State (IS) on Monday, namely Ixdê, Meraser, Kepinrepênê (two separate villages) and Mizxane, on Kobane Canton’s eastern front.
According to the YPG report around 35 x IS Jihadists were killed in Monday’s engagements and AK-47s, machine guns, rocket launchers, hand grenades and mortar shells, plus ammunition and equipment were recovered. The death of one YPG fighter was recorded.
Freedom! – Woman Escaping Tel Abyad Rips Off IS Blackness
Monday of last week there was around 93 kilometres separating the Kurds on Kobane Canton’s eastern front and Cizire Canton’s western front with Tel Abyad in the middle.
Now that distance is just 52 kilometres and falling rapidly.
Clearly the Islamic State are expecting the attack on Tel Abyad, sending up 1,500 fighters from Deir Ez-Zour and Raqqah to reinforce their positions.
There are also reports of trench digging and banks being built to strengthen defences.
However, their reinforcement plans have not gone entirely to plan, a Coalition airstrike reportedly hitting one of their convoys on its way from Raqqah to Sulouk, destroying several vehicles including some tanks.
There have also been reports that Turkey has opened the border crossing at Tel Abyad (until now “officially” closed) and allowed 500 people from Tel Abyad to come through. It is additionally being said that 600 Kurdish civilians, anticipating the fighting to come and trying to escape, are stuck on the Turkish border 9 kilometres west of Tel Abyad.
As can be seen in the photograph, one woman on escaping Tel Abyad and reaching Kurdish territory, ripped off the individuality, soul destroying black garb.
On Kobane’s south-western front, in an attempt to undermine and psychologically destroy the Kurds morale, just before harvest time IS have set fire to crops and hundreds of trees, destroying the livelihoods of 17 villages.
In Kobane city on Monday, a Kurdish language teacher training institute was opened, the Assad regime having previously insisted that all Kurdish children were taught in Arabic only. (EDITOR: Another step to freedom and independence)
Bizarrely though, no representatives of the Kurds, the most competent of the all the fighting forces opposing IS, were not invited (for the 2nd time) to take part in an international security conference on the Islamic State held in Paris on Tuesday.
This Kobane Canton eastern front situation map for 02.06.15 is courtesy of @ChuckPfarrer, here:
Kobane Canton Eastern Front Situation Map 02.05.15
US Central Command (Centcom) says that on Sunday through to Monday am there were 13 airstrikes in Syria, 3 in Kobane Canton destroying 13 x IS fighting positions and hitting an IS tactical unit. 9 airstrikes were near Hasakah destroying 7 x IS fighting positions, 2 x IS vehicles and an IS weapons cache. The other strike hit an IS airfield near Raqqah.
On Monday through to Tuesday am, 5 more airstrikes destroyed an IS fighting position in Kobane Canton and 2 more near Hasakah. The Hasakah attacks also destroyed an IS command and control centre, an IS mortar system, an IS truck and another IS weapons cache. 3 large and one small IS tactical unit were also hit.
YPG Forces Closing in on Tel Abyad
The YPG reports that over the 2 Cantons of Kobane and Cizire in the month of May, it estimates it killed 1005 Jihadists, recovering 353 of their bodies from the battlefield. 2 Jihadists were captured alive.
The YPG/YPJ death toll for May was 86 fighters.
In Cizire Canton, in a 24 hour period on Monday through to Tuesday, yesterday, the YPG liberated a whole new stretch of territory south-west of Serêkaniyê. Xiwêlan, Xwêra (two distinct villages), Recim Enwe, Nestel, Tibe, Hewasî, Hacir, Hacir Hill and 5 farms were all wrested from IS control.
Unconfirmed reports today, Wednesday, say that Cafer village, just north of Mount Abdul Aziz and Aysha village west of Serêkaniyê have also been recovered by Kurdish forces.
Around Hasakah city, fierce fighting continues. Using its usual attack/retreat/attack strategy, IS returned to the old prison and adjacent Youth Detention Centre south-east of the city which they captured and “retreated” from a few days ago.
Some reports put the number of Assad’s troops killed in the clashes in the last few days at 50+ dead, especially after IS detonated as many as 5 car bombs. Fighting between the 2 sides is also reported east of the city in the Foj Kawkeb area.