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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.
- Syrian Kurds Cross Turkish Border in Droves As ISIS Nears Kobani
- Islamic State Tightens Siege on Syria Border Town