LATEST: Priest and About 20 Christian Worshippers Kidnapped Near Turkish Border


Video Feature: How Did State Department Answer Question, “Why So Few US Airstrikes Near Kobane?”

UPDATE 1940 GMT: Coalition airstrikes have reportedly resume:

UPDATE 1700 GMT: US Central Command has confirmed five coalition airstrikes on Monday and Tuesday near Kobane. It said the attacks destroyed four Islamic State armed vehicles and an Islamic unit, and they damaged one tank and one armoured vehicle.

BBC correspondent Paul Wood, observing from the Turkish side of the border, said there were eight airstrikes since 4 a.m. local time. He said that, possibly as a result, fighting inside Kobane had diminished today and the town was “eerily quiet” except for occasional crackles of gunfire in the afternoon.

UPDATE 1440 GMT: Footage of the fighting, posted on Monday on YouTube:

UPDATE 1130 GMT: Reports indicate that the US-led coalition has stepped up aerial attacks near Kobane:

UPDATE 0500 GMT: Observing from the Turkish side of the border, journalist Harald Doornboos reports an easing of fighting — and one US strike — near Kobane overnight.

After a three-week offensive, Islamic State fighters entered the Kurdish center of Kobane in northern Syria on Monday.


There were street battles in the eastern part of the town, as military officials asked civilians to evacuate.

As they advanced from the east and southeast, the jihadists raised the Islamic State flag on a hill and a four-story building, signalling their advance to observers and Kurdish refugees on the Turkish side of the border.

The state of the battle is unclear, although Kurdish activists claimed that the jihadists had been repulsed as they moved into the Qani Arab neighborhood.

The President of the Kobane canton, one of three in Syrian Kurdistan, appealed again for assistance:

We are calling out to all the international powers, forces from Kurdistan, and Kurdish public that ISIS thugs must be stopped and thousands of civilians must be saved from massacre. International powers and public will…be responsible.

However, there were no signs of significant intervention, including US airstrikes. A Kurdish refugee from Kobane summarized, “We hoped American planes will help us. Instead American tanks in hands of ISIS are killing us.”

Priest and About 20 Christian Worshippers Kidnapped Near Turkish Border

A parish priest and about 20 Christians have been kidnapped from a Syrian village near the border with Turkey, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said on Tuesday.

The Latin Patriarchate, linked to the Catholic Church, said Father Hanna Jallouf and the worshipper were kidnapped on Sunday night from Knayeh. It said the kidnappers were brigades linked to the Islamist faction Jabhat al-Nusra.

The statement said there had been no contact with the priest or his captors.

“Among the kidnapped are young people, both boys and girls,” said Bishop Georges Abou Khazen, the Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo.