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ISIL Reportedly Seizes More Than 40 percent Of Kobane

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As the vigorous battle continues, more fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have advanced deeper into the embattled Syrian town of Kobane, taking control of more than 40 percent of territory, a group monitoring the violence has said.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the country’s civil war, said on Friday that ISIL had “taken at least 40 percent [of the town].”

Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Observatory through a network of activists on the ground, said ISIL were in almost complete control of the “security quarter”, which is home to administrative buildings used by the local government.

However, a Kurdish military official earlier denied any major advance by the group, telling the Reuters news agency that clashes between ISIL and Kurdish fighters were still ongoing.

Ocalan Iso, deputy head of the Kurdish forces, said ISIL was still bombarding the town centre with mortars, showing that its fighters had not extended their control over more than 20 percent of the town.

“There are fierce clashes and they are bombing the centre of Kobane from afar,” he said.

ISIL’s advance has brought the front line to just 1.3km from the Syrian-Turkey border, despite US-led air strikes targeting the group’s positions.

The US military said it conducted nine airstrikes against ISIL positions in Syria in the past two days, including seven near Kobane, destroying two training facilities, vehicles and two small units.

Despite intensified air strikes, the UN envoy to Syria has warned of a looming “massacre” in Kobane, as thousands of civilians remain trapped in the besieged town.

Staffan de Mistura said on Friday that a UN analysis of the situation on the ground showed that only a small portion of the town remained open for people to enter or flee Kobane.

If the town falls to ISIL, “we know what they are capable of doing,” said the Italian-Swedish diplomat, who was appointed to the UN post in July.

The civilians of Kobane “will be most likely massacred,” de Mistura said.

He said there were about 500 to 700 elderly people and other civilians trapped there while 10,000 to 13,000 remained stuck in an area nearby, close to the border.

The onslaught has forced more than 200,000 to flee across the border into Turkey.

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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