Islamic State group crosses Turkish line to raid Syrian town

first_imgBEIRUT — The Islamic State group launched an attack Saturday from Turkey on the Syrian border town of Kobani, a Kurdish official and activists said, although Turkey denied that the fighters had used its territory.The assault began when a suicide bomber driving an armored vehicle detonated his explosives on the border crossing, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for Syria’s powerful Kurdish Democratic Union Party. The Islamic State group “used to attack the town from three sides,” Khalil said. “Today, they are attacking from four sides.” Turkey, while previously backing the Syrian rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad in that country’s civil war, has been hesitant to aid them in Kobani because it fears to stoke Kurdish ambitions for an independent state. Turkey confirmed Saturday that one suicide attack involved a bomb-loaded vehicle that detonated on the Syrian side of the border. But it denied the vehicle came from Turkey, which would be a first for the extremist fighters.“Claims that the vehicle reached the border gate by crossing through Turkish soil are a lie,” read the statement released from the government press office at the border town of Suruc. “Contrary to certain claims, no Turkish official has made any statement claiming that the bomb-loaded vehicle had crossed in from Turkey.”last_img read more