MURSITPINAR, Turkey/BEIRUT — Kurdish forces defending Kobani urged a U.S.-led coalition to escalate air strikes on ISIS fighters who tightened their grip on the Syrian town at the Turkish border on Saturday. The main Kurdish armed group, the YPG, said in a statement that the air strikes had inflicted heavy losses on Islamic State, but had been less effective in the last two days.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an organization that monitors the conflict in Syria, said the Kurdish forces faced inevitable defeat in Kobani if Turkey did not open its border to let through arms — something Ankara has so far appeared reluctant to do. And a U.N. official said on Friday thousands of people most likely will be massacred if Kobani falls to ISIS.
The U.S.-led coalition escalated air strikes on ISIS in and around Kobani some four days ago, including six air strikes on Friday and Saturday, U.S. Central Command said. The U.S. and Dutch militaries also carried out three airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq near Tal Afar and Hit on Friday and Saturday, Central Command said in a statement.