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U.S. Pounds Targets Outside Besieged Syrian City of Kobani

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Image: Smoke rises after an US-led air strike in the syrian town of Kobani
Smoke rises after an U.S.-led air strike in the Syrian town of Kobani on Oct. 8. U.S.-led air strikes on Wednesday pushed Islamic State fighters back to the edges of the Syrian Kurdish border town of Kobani, which they had appeared set to seize after a three-week assault, local officials said.UMIT BEKTAS / Reuters

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U.S. military forces have launched 23 airstrikes in the last 36 hours against ISIS targets outside the besieged Syrian border city of Kobani. U.S. military officials say the strikes by U.S. bombers, fighter-bombers and drones have been targeting ISIS command and control facilities, tanks, armored vehicles, gun trucks, ammo dumps and groups of ISIS fighters on the outskirts of the city.

A senior defense official told NBC News that "airstrikes alone may not be decisive" and "there is concern that Kobani could still fall" into the hands of the ISIS forces. U.S. warplanes are unable to launch strikes at any potential targets inside Kobani because it's nearly impossible to differentiate between ISIS vs. Kurdish fighters and because of the potential of killing of innocent civilians.

The U.S. has been intensifying efforts in recent days to save Kobani from ISIS militants. The city, which borders Turkey, is seen as a key symbol in the fight against the extremists.

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