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U.S., allies hit Islamic State militants with 39 airstrikes

WASHINGTON: The US-led coalition pounded the Islamic State group with 39 air strikes Thursday and Friday, including more than a dozen near the flashpoint Syrian town of Kobane.

The 13 strikes conducted Thursday in Kobane, which is known as Ain al-Arab in Arabic, destroyed 17 fighting positions, as well as IS buildings, staging areas and a vehicle, the US-led anti-IS coalition said in a statement.

On Friday four air strikes destroyed three IS buildings and two vehicles in the area, it added.

The statement updated an earlier report by the US Defense Department, which had erroneously stated that all of the strikes occurred on Friday, and which had set the total number of strikes at 31.

Fighting over Kobane began in mid-September, when the jihadists moved to take over the town on the border with Turkey. The US-led coalition launched air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria on September 23.

Over Thursday and Friday, there were 19 strikes in Syria by coalition fighter and bomber aircraft, as well as drones.

Coalition raids also struck tactical units, a drilling tower and an assembly area, the statement said.

In Iraq, the coalition carried out 20 strikes according to the updated document: 15 on Thursday, mostly in Ninevah and Anbar, two of the main fronts in the fight against IS there, and five on Friday in the same provinces.

The strikes destroyed an IS rocket system and vehicles, equipment, a mortar position, fighting position and a modular refinery.

The jets and drones also targeted IS tactical units and a checkpoint. (AFP)

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