Turkey: Car bomb explodes in Kobane as IS launches new offensive

At least 12 people were killed and a further 70 injured in an attack from the so-called Islamic State (IS, formally ISIS/ISIL) on Kobane early on Thursday morning, as IS forces try to retake the area after being driven out by Kurdish militias in January. The IS fighters moved into the Syrian border town, known in Arabic as Ayn al-Arab, with bomb laden vehicles which they detonated in the early morning, killing and injuring many people. The victims were taken to the Suruc State Hospital in Turkey by ambulance, as violent clashes raged on in Kobane. Before Kobane became one of the strategic points of the Islamic State's assault, the city and surrounding villages contained around 400,000 people, mostly of Kurdish heritage. The IS offensive, launched in September 2014, forced over 100,000 citizens to flee the area, crossing the border into Turkey. Heavy clashes continue to dog the city as IS relaunch assaults in several locations throughout Syria and Iraq.