Reuters reports: Kurdish fighters defending a Syrian border town warned on Friday of a likely massacre by Islamic State insurgents as the Islamists encircled the town with tanks and bombarded its outskirts with artillery fire.
Turkey said it would do what it could to prevent Kobani, a predominantly Kurdish town just over its southern border, from falling into Islamic State hands but stopped short of committing to any direct military intervention.
U.S.-led forces have been bombing Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq but the action has done little to stop their advance in northern Syria towards the Turkish border, piling pressure on Ankara to intervene.
Esmat al-Sheikh, head of the Kurdish forces defending Kobani, said the distance between his fighters and the insurgents was now less than one km (half a mile).
“We are in a small, besieged area. No reinforcements reached us and the borders are closed,” he told Reuters by phone. “My expectation is for general killing, massacres and destruction … There is bombardment with tanks, artillery, rockets and mortars.” [Continue reading…]