U.S. airstrikes kill at least 10 civilians, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says
Only two airstrikes reported in Kobani
Syrian Kurdish and Free Syrian Army forces fight ISIS in and around the city, reports say
Iraq's parliament approves key government appointments
Airstrikes like those that have helped slow the advance of ISIS fighters in the Syrian town of Kobani rocked the city again Saturday.
A huge plume of smoke rose over the city’s center in the aftermath of an apparent airstrike that hit the area with three large blasts, according to CNN crews watching from bordering Turkey.
While accounts from within the city differed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian Kurdish forces who have retaken parts of the city fought with ISIS fighters south of the city, near the border crossing with Turkey.
A fighter in Kobani who declined to be identified for security reasons said clashes also occurred in the city’s eastern neighborhoods.
A civilian who similarly declined to be identified said there was no front-line fighting or shelling of the city.
Kurdish and Free Syrian Army forces were fanning out across the city probing for ISIS soldiers, the fighter told CNN.
U.S. warplanes struck only twice Friday and Saturday in Kobani, the U.S. Central Command said Saturday. Both targeted ISIS fighting positions, the military said.
That’s far fewer airstrikes than in recent days – U.S. jets flew at least 14 missions near Kobani on Thursday and Friday, according to Central Command.
And although Central Command commander Gen. Lloyd Austin warned Friday that the city still could fall, ISIS militants appear to have vanished from at least portions of the city, the Kobani fighter told CNN.
While the Kurdish and Free Syrian Army troops feel victorious, the fighter said they remain wary of ambushes and booby traps left behind.
The civilian who spoke to CNN said water has become an issue, with residents and fighters drawn to wells that are common for homes in the city.
In other developments in the fight against ISIS:
– At least seven civilians died in a U.S. airstrike on an ISIS-controlled oilfield near the city of Khusham, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Three more died in a strike near the village of Kabiba, the group said.
The U.S. Central Command said that it had bombed ISIS crude oil collecting points and refineries, including three strikes on a facility northeast of Khusham. The military statement, however, made no mention of civilian casualties.
– Airstrikes also targeted ISIS units in Iraq, destroying an armed vehicle a machine gun position, a building occupied by the group and three guard shacks near Bayji. Airstrikes near Mosul hit an ISIS building, machine gun and vehicle and three small ground units.
– Iraq’s Parliament approved the appointment of a Shiite to the job of interior minister and a Sunni as defense minister, a member of the parliament, Ali al-A’laq, told CNN. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had promised to fill the two vacant jobs and give one to a Shiite as part of efforts to heal sectarian divides in the country.
Those divisions have been blamed, in part, for allowing ISIS to make the gains it has.
The United Nations special representative in Iraq, Nicolay Mladenov, called the appointments “another important step towards bringing the country together.”
CNN’s Ingrid Formanek and Nick Paton Walsh contributed to this report.