The Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, have made substantial inroads into the Syrian province of Raqqa, Islamic State's center of operations, and early Thursday, ISIS struck back. In Kobani, a Syrian border town the YPG and allied forces kicked ISIS out of in January, ISIS set off a suicide car bomb at the Turkish border crossing, then engaged Kurdish forces inside the city, according to YPG commanders, Turkish officials, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.
"A group of fighters deployed in some areas of Kobani," YPG commander Ghalia Neeme told The Associated Press. "We are defending a position now." Turkish officials say that at least 41 people were injured in the car bomb, and one child was killed. The Observatory says that dozens of people were killed or wounded in that attack and the fighting that followed.
In a separate attack, ISIS forces stormed a Syrian government–held portion of Hassakeh, a predominantly Kurdish town in northeastern Syria. It's not ISIS's first attempt to push its way into Hassakeh, divided between Kurdish and Syrian government control, but this time the Islamist militants have reportedly had more success, taking parts of the government-held southern al-Nashwa district. Syrian state TV reported casualties on both sides.
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