ISIS militants in Syria raised a black flag over a building in eastern Kobani on Monday, the closest they have come to seizing control of the town which is only six miles from the Turkish border. The flag, apparently belonging to the extremist Islamist group, was visible atop a four-story building close to the scene of some of the most intense clashes in recent days, television images shot from the border showed.
It came as outgunned Kurdish fighters vowed not to abandon their increasingly desperate efforts to defend the town, which is being pounded on three sides by heavy ISIS artillery. The radical al Qaeda offshoot has been battling for more than two weeks to seize the predominantly Kurdish town, driving 180,000 people into neighboring Turkey. Airstrikes by American and Gulf state warplanes have failed to halt the ISIS advance. “If they enter Kobani, it will be a graveyard for us and for them," Esmat al-Sheikh, head of the Kobani Defence Authority, said by telephone. "We either win or die. We will resist to the end.”