Kurds strive to protect besieged Kurdish Kobani
Kurds halt IS thrust into the centre of the city
Syrian activists and Kurdish officials say fierce fighting is underway in a Syrian border town where the Kurdish Peoples' Defence Units YPG fighters are struggling to repel advances by the Islamic State group.
The battle for the Kurdish Kobani town in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) is raging despite air strikes by the U. S. -led coalition targeting the militants.
A Kurdish official said Saturday's clashes were focused on the southern and eastern parts of the town. He said the situation was dire and appealed for international help.
"We are defending (the town) but ... we have only simple weapons and they (militants) have heavy weapons," he said. "They are not besieged and can move easily," he said.
He said the U.S.-led air strikes were not effective, and urged the international community and the United Nations to intervene, predicting a massacre if the militants seize control of Kobani.
He also appealed to Turkey to open a corridor that would allow remaining civilians to leave Kobani and arms supplies to enter the town.
The director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdurrahman, said the town's Kurdish fighters are putting up a fierce fight but are outgunned by the militants.
Kurdish fighters thwarted a thrust by the Islamic State group jihadists to advance into the centre of early on Saturday, a monitoring group said.
The attack came after the IS militants overran Kurd- ish headquarters in the border town on Friday, sparking fears they would cut off the last escape route to neighbouring Turkey for hundreds of mainly elderly civilians still in the town centre.
The IS assault sparked 90 minutes of heavy fighting with the town's Kurdish defenders before the jihadists fell back, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
US-led coalition war- planes also carried out two air strikes on IS targets south and east of the town early Saturday, according to the Britain-based monitoring group, which has a wide network of sources inside Syria.
Since the militants launched their onslaught on Kobani in mid-September, at least 500 people have been killed and more than 200,000 have been forced to flee across the border into Turkey.
Turkish Kurds look towards the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani from the top of a hill close to the border line between Turkey and Syria near Mursitpinar bordergate October 10, 2014.