Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Kobani, seen from near the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province October 15, 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
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Jihadists pushed to seize Syria's Kobani and an Iraqi town close to Baghdad Wednesday as Washington warned of a long fight against the steadily advancing ISIS.In Iraq, ISIS militants were closing on the town of Amriyat al-Fallujah, one of the last still controlled by the government in the troubled Anbar province and only 35 kilometers (20 miles) from Baghdad.Obama expressed special concern for Kobani, which has become a crucial symbolic battleground in the fight against ISIS, and about halting the ISIS advance in Iraq's western Anbar province.Fighting continued to rage for Kobani early Wednesday, with clashes concentrated in the east of the town where ISIS fighters established a stronghold after piercing its defences last week. If the town were to fall, ISIS fighters would still have to capture a significant stretch of government-controlled land before reaching the capital.But the loss of Anbar, where government forces have suffered a string of bruising military setbacks in recent weeks, would be a heavy blow to Iraqi ground forces battling ISIS.
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