ANTAKYA, Turkey — A fighter with the extremist Islamist group ISIS warned Western-backed forces on Friday that "a lot of car bombs and suicide bombers are waiting for them" in the besieged Syrian town of Kobani. The threat came as Kurdish forces from Iraq were traveling to the town in an attempt to wrest back control of what has become the focal point for the U.S.-led offensive.
The fighter told NBC News via telephone from Kobani that despite airstrikes hampering ISIS, the group still controlled 90 percent of town. "U.S. planes continued bombing us for 24-hours—they never stop," said the man, who was in his mid-20s and said he was in charge of a small group of 25 to 30 fighters. "We lost a lot of brothers because of the constant bombardment. This is the only thing that stopped us controlling the whole city."
The U.S. created a coalition of nations to fight ISIS after it overran large parts of Iraq and Syria and vowed to establish an Islamic caliphate. ISIS has been fighting in Kobani for at least 40 days.
The fighter also revealed that there was a "Registration for Suicide Attacks" within ISIS and said there were more than 1,200 members "ready to blow themselves up at any time they are asked to do it." He said that "we love to die for our religion," adding: "Kurdish fighters love life, and so you see them running away when they hear the sound of the explosion. They are running like dogs to Turkey, fearing for their lives." If more Kurdish troops arrived, he said: "Believe me, a lot of car bombs and suicide bombers are waiting for them."
The fight, who spoke to NBC News on Thursday night, claimed the number of Kurdish soldiers battling for control of the town has been overstated in the media, and that "when we hear the news , we laugh a lot." He said: "Men escaped and left the females to fight instead of them. I have seen women much more than men. We caught some of them during the fights and killed them later."
However, he said that he was under strict orders not to harm any "peaceful Muslims" living in Kobani. There were lots of Kurdish people fighting alongside ISIS, he said, showing it was not a battle between Arabs and Kurds. "It's a war between the believers and the non-believers," he said. He said he has been fighting alongside people from Germany, Sweden, Canada, the U.K., Chechnya and Iran, as well as Arab nations.
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