Coalition carries out airstrikes against key town following Kurdish plea

Published March 14th, 2015 - 11:46 GMT

The U.S.-led coalition launched airstrikes against Daesh militants in a key Syrian village overnight in response to Kurdish forces’ request for assistance, the Agence France Presse reported Saturday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes near the northeastern village of Tal Tamr were the first by the coalition in the area since a Daesh advance began there in late February, 2015.

There were no immediate details on casualties, which the Britain-based monitor said hit Daesh positions near the village in the province of Hassakeh.

The strikes came just hours after Kurdish forces appealed for international action.

In a statement, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) called on "the international coalition forces to take part in the battle for Tal Tamr."

The village is one several that Daesh has attacked in the Hassakeh province since it began an offensive there in late February, 2015.

It has so far seized a number of villages and abducted more than 200 Assyrian Christians in the area, causing thousands of residents to flee to nearby cities.

Tal Tamr, while small, has strategic value because it lies on a road that runs across the Iraqi border to the east and on to Mosul, one of Daesh’s most strategic holdings.

It also sits on a road leading north to the Turkish border and the town of Ras al-Ain, which is similarly under assault from Daesh.

On Friday, YPG spokesman Redur Khalil said Daesh had reinforced the Ras al-Ain area and Kurdish fighters there were expecting an "imminent attack."

The Daesh offensive in Hasakeh came after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition air strikes expelled the jihadist group from the key border town of Kobane in January, 2015.

More than 210,000 people have been killed in Syria since an anti-government uprising that began in March 2011 spiraled into a civil war that has attracted thousands of foreign jihadis.

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