Airstrikes push Islamic State jihadists back in Syrian town

Turkey-Syria_Horo-1-e1412781539519In this image shot from Mursitpinar in the outskirts of Suruc at the Turkey-Syria border, smoke rises from a strike at an area of a mosque that destroyed its minaret, in Kobani, Syria, during heavy fighting between militants with the Islamic State group and Syrian Kurds, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014.(Photo credit: AP/Lefteris Pitarakis)

MURSITPINAR, Turkey — New US-led airstrikes near the Syrian border town of Kobani have helped Kurdish fighters push back the Islamic State group a day after it appeared on the verge of seizing the town, the fate of which has emerged as a key test of whether coalition air power can roll back the extremist group.

The new wave of airstrikes came as several Syrian human rights groups called on the world to save the embattled town from falling into the hands of the Islamic State group, whose fighters have broken through Kurdish defenders’ front lines and entered parts of the town over the last two days.

The US-led coalition has launched a series of strikes aimed at preventing the extremist group from seizing Kobani. An activist group said the strikes killed at least 45 Islamic State militants since late Monday, forcing the group to withdraw from parts of the town.

“The airstrikes have helped. They were good strikes but not as effective as we want them to be,” said Idriss Nassan, deputy head of Kobani’s foreign relations committee. “Kobani is still in danger and the airstrikes should intensify in order to remove the danger”…