Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Kobani, seen from near the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province October 14, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
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Kurdish fighters helped by Russian airstrikes launched an attack in northern Syria Wednesday in an attempt to capture a military air base held by Syrian insurgents, while an international aid group warned that the health system in parts of the north is close to collapse.Maj. Yasser Abdul-Rahim, a rebel commander in Aleppo province, told The Associated Press that fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units, known as the YPG, are clashing with rebels near Mannagh air base."We are fighting on three fronts," he said via Skype, referring to the YPG, Syrian troops and ISIS, which also controls parts of Aleppo province. He warned that Mannagh air base could fall to Kurdish fighters because of the Russian air cover and the intensity of the attack.The Observatory's chief Rami Abdul-Rahman said that since the offensive in Aleppo province began on Feb. 1, some 518 people have been killed, including 101 civilians, 169 insurgents and 143 troops and pro-government forces.Syria's conflict has killed more than 250,000 people and displaced millions since the uprising began in March 2011 .
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