U.S. reports 12 air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, Iraq

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CLARIFYING COUNTRY IN IPTC An explosion following an air strike is seen in western Kobani neighbourhood, November 23, 2014. Islamic State has been trying to take control of the town for more than two months in an assault that has driven tens of thousands of Kurdish civilians over the border into Turkey and drawn strikes by U.S.-led forces. Picture taken from the Turkish side of the Turkish-Syrian border. REUTERS/Osman Orsal (SYRIA - Tags: CONFLICT CIVIL UNREST)

An explosion following an air strike is seen in western Kobani neighbourhood

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military conducted six air strikes against Islamic State militants near the Syrian border town of Kobani on Sunday and Monday, the U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

U.S. forces, in coordination with Iraqi ground troops, also conducted six air strikes against the militant group in Iraq near Fallujah and Bayji with help from France and the United Kingdom, Central Command said.

In Iraq, three of the U.S.-led strikes hit Islamic State targets south of the oil refinery in Bayji, striking a small group of militants as well as destroying or damaging vehicles and buildings, according to the statement released on Monday.

The strikes near Fallujah also hit a large unit of Islamic State fighters, it added.

In Syria, the U.S. strikes hit a "stray" resupply vehicle from the U.S. airdrop of supplies earlier on Monday intended for Kurdish forces battling the militant group in Kobani, which the U.S. military said "prevented these supplies from falling into enemy hands."

Islamic State fighters have for a month laid siege to Kobani, on the Turkish frontier, and only intense bombardments by U.S.-led coalition warplanes have halted their advance.

The strikes in Syria also destroyed Islamic State fighting positions and one of the militant group's vehicles, it added.

All the aircraft in the 12 air strikes left the area safely, Central Command said.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu)