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ISIS Tightens Siege of Syria Border Town

 / Updated 
A Protection of the Kurdish People (YPG) fighter holds her AK-47 in the Turkish-Syrian border after refugees and Turkish protestors pull down a part of the Turkish-Syrian border fence, near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province September 26, 2014. Nearly 140,000 Syrian Kurds have fled into Turkey since last week, the fastest exodus of the entire three-year civil war. The United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday it was making contingency plans in case all 400,000 inhabitants of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani fled into Turkey to escape advancing Islamic State militants. (Photo by Stringer/Getty Images)
A Protection of the Kurdish People (YPG) fighter holds her AK-47 in the Turkish-Syrian border after refugees and Turkish protestors pull down a part of the Turkish-Syrian border fence, near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province September 26, 2014. Nearly 140,000 Syrian Kurds have fled into Turkey since last week, the fastest exodus of the entire three-year civil war. The United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday it was making contingency plans in case all 400,000 inhabitants of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani fled into Turkey to escape advancing Islamic State militants. (Photo by Stringer/Getty Images)Stringer / Getty Images

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Islamic State fighters tightened their siege on a town on Syria's border with Turkey on Friday despite U.S.-led air strikes aimed at defeating the militants in both Syria and Iraq. ISIS is closing the noose on the Kurdish town of Kobani, sending 140,000 refugees across the frontier since last week.

The main battle in northern Syria has been visible from across the frontier in Turkey. The boom of artillery and bursts of machine-gun fire echoed across the border, and at least two shells hit a vineyard on the Turkish side, though there were no immediate reports of casualties inside Turkey. ISIS fighters appeared to have taken control of a hill 5 miles west of Kobani from where the YPG, the main Kurdish armed group in northern Syria, had been attacking them in recent days.

Kurdish forces said on Thursday they had pushed back the advance on Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, but appealed for U.S.-led air strikes on the insurgents' tanks and heavy weapons. Some Kurdish commanders have said the air campaign has made the militants' advance even stronger, by prompting the militants to move armor out of positions in cities and send it to the front lines, where Western planes have yet to strike.

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— The Associated Press

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