Smoke and flames rise following an explosion in the Syrian town of Kobanie, also known as Ain al-Arab, as seen from the southeastern Turkish village of Mursitpinar in the Sanliurfa province on October 20, 2014. AFP PHOTO/BulentKilic
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Kurdish fighters in the battleground Syrian town of Kobani weathered an onslaught by ISIS militants Tuesday as they waited for promised reinforcements.Kobani has become a crucial symbolic battleground in the war against ISIS, which is fighting to extend areas under its control in Iraq and Syria where it has declared an Islamic "caliphate".Iraqi Kurdish officials have said they will provide the training, although any forces sent will be Syrian Kurds.ISIS lost at least five of its militants to airstrikes on Monday and a further 12 in ground fighting, including two suicide bombers, the activist group said.The British government, which has joined coalition airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq, said Tuesday it would deploy drones to conduct surveillance on the group in Syria.In spite of the Kobani operation, U.S. commanders said the top priority remains Iraq, where ISIS swept through much of the Sunni Arab heartland north and west of Baghdad in June, and both government and Kurdish forces are under pressure.
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