BEIRUT, Lebanon — Islamic State group fighters reentered the Syrian Kurdish battleground town of Kobani on Thursday, detonating a suicide bomb and battling Kurdish forces, a monitoring group said.
“IS detonated a suicide bomb in the area near the border crossing with Turkey, killing at least five people,” said Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman.
“Fierce clashes erupted afterwards in the center of the town and there are bodies lying in the streets,” he added, without giving a specific toll.
He said fighting was still raging on Thursday morning.
IS battled for some four months to seize Kobani but Kurdish fighters backed by US-led air strikes secured control of the border town in January in a symbolic defeat for the jihadists.
In the months since, forces of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have advanced from Kobani in Aleppo province into neighboring Raqa province, the jihadists’ stronghold.
In recent days, they captured the strategic town of Tal Abyad, also on the border with Turkey, and pushed toward IS’s de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa city in the Euphrates valley to the south.