The New York Times reports: Shelling intensified Sunday on Kobani, the Syrian town at the center of a region of Kurdish farming villages that has been under a weeklong assault by Islamic State militants, setting fire to buildings and driving a stream of new refugees toward the fence here at the border with Turkey.
The extremist Sunni militants have been closing in on the town from the east and west after moving into villages with tanks and artillery, outgunning Kurdish fighters struggling to defend the area. The Kurds fear a massacre, especially after recent Islamic State attacks on Kurdish civilians in Iraq. More than 150,000 people have fled into Turkey over the past week.
There were no sounds of jets overhead to indicate to the Kurds that help was coming from the American-led coalition, whose stated mission is to degrade and destroy the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. Two airstrikes on the eastern front hit Islamic State armored vehicles on Saturday, but did not appear to halt the advance.
“Where’s Obama?” one Turkish Kurd demanded, watching in anguish near the border fence as the headlights of cars could be seen streaming out of Kobani toward the border, although there was no way to cross it. “Does he care about the Kurds?” [Continue reading…]