MOSCOW, October 12 (RIA Novosti) - More than 550 people have been killed since the siege of the Syrian city of Kobani by Islamic State (IS) militants started on September 16, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has reported.
According to SOHR, the dead include some 20 civilians, 226 fighters of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), nine fighters from rebel and Islamic battalions that are backing up the YPG, among other casualties.
The organization also said it believed that the real number of those killed could be twice the number it could register due to extreme secrecy on casualties from both sides. It was also difficult to access many areas of the besieged city.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was founded in 2006 and is not affiliated with any political body. SOHR members document and report Human Rights violations in Syria, in cooperation with other international organizations.
The Islamic State (IS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched attacks to northern and western Iraq.
For the past several weeks, IS militants have besieged Kobani, one of the largest towns in the Kurdish region of Syria bordering Turkey. The US-led anti-IS coalition has conducted a series of airstrikes against IS positions, however the siege of the city continued.