Syrian Kurds wait at Mursitpinar border crossing to return to their homes in the Syrian city of Kobani, on the Turkish-Syrian border near the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, September 24, 2014. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
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U.S. planes pounded ISIS positions in Syria for a second day on Wednesday, but the strikes did not halt the fighters' advance in a Kurdish area where fleeing refugees told of villages burnt and captives beheaded.Washington describes Khorasan as a separate group from ISIS, made up of al Qaeda veterans planning attacks on the West from a base in Syria.Syrian Kurds said ISIS had responded to U.S. attacks by intensifying its assault near the Turkish border in northern Syria, where 140,000 civilians have fled in recent days in the fastest exodus of the three-year civil war.Washington and Arab allies have killed scores of ISIS fighters in the first 24 hours of air strikes, the first direct U.S. foray into Syria two weeks after Obama pledged to hit the group on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border.The initial days of U.S. strikes suggest one aim is to hamper ISIS' ability to operate across the Iraqi-Syrian frontier.ISIS' ability to move fighters and weapons between Syria and Iraq has provided an important tactical advantage for the group in both countries: fighters sweeping in from Syria helped capture much of northern Iraq in June, and weapons they seized and sent back to Syria helped them in battle there.Gun battles, bombings, shelling and air strikes regularly kill over 150 people a day.
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