ISIS militants control more than a third of the besieged Syrian border town of Kobani, a monitoring group said Thursday, despite U.S.-led airstrikes in the area aimed at supporting Kurds who are fighting to save the city. "ISIS control … all eastern areas, a small part of the north east and an area in the south east," head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdulrahman, told Reuters.
U.S. officials hinted Wednesday that the fall of Kobani — six miles from Turkey’s border — was a foregone conclusion, warning not to “fixate” on the town. Secretary of State John Kerry said he was “deeply concerned” about Kobani’s citizens but added that “as horrific as it is to watch in real time what's happening in Kobani, it’s also important to remember you have to step back and understand the strategic objective.” The siege, which has left at least 400 dead and sent thousands more fleeing over the border, has put pressure on Turkey to join the military fight against ISIS — but it has been reluctant, perhaps fearing weapons could end up in the hands of its own restive Kurdish population. The issue was expected to be discussed Thursday when U.S. envoys coordinating the global response to ISIS meet with Turkish leaders in Ankara.
- Alastair Jamieson
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.