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Syria: Islamic extremists pledge to press ahead with battle for Kobani

Syria: Islamic extremists pledge to press ahead with battle for Kobani
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Vowing to pursue their fight for Kobani, Islamic extremists have released footage purported to show what is left of the Syrian border town.

US-led airstrikes have failed to reverse ISIL’s advance and it is still far from sure whether newly-arrived Iraqi Kurdish fighters can turn the tide and help defeat the jihadists.

The images show rubble and badly damaged buildings, with black smoke billowing in the background.

The video also features a militant pledging that the battle for Kobani will go on.

Human Rights Watch says children from the predominantly Kurdish town who were abducted by ISIL were forced to watch videos of beheadings and beaten with cables during six months of captivity.

Other youngsters from Kobani who have managed to flee across the frontier into Turkey are coping as best they can.

Makeshift classrooms in tents for a few refugees in the Turkish border town of Suruc offer some semblance of normality in the difficult conditions they are living in.

But Kobani is not the end of the story.

France has warned that the coalition fighting ISIL must now save Syria’s second city Aleppo as moderate rebels face destruction by attacks from forces loyal to President Assad as well as jihadi militants.

In a column in French daily Le Figaro, the Washington Post and pan-Arab Al-Hayat, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the city, the “bastion” of the opposition, was almost encircled and abandoning it would end hopes of a political solution in Syria’s three-year civil war.