Bolstered by intensified U.S.-led coalition airstrikes targeting militants from the Islamic State group, Kurdish militiamen fought pitched street battles Wednesday with the extremists in a Syrian Kurdish border town near Turkey, making small advances, activists and officials said.

Elsewhere in Syria, in a stark reminder of the country’s wider civil war, a Syrian lawmaker was gunned down in the central province of Hama — the latest assassination to target a figure linked to President Bashar Assad’s government.

In the border town of Kobani, members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, were making progress against Sunni militants, hours after the U.S.-led coalition stepped up airstrikes in and around the town, said Asya Abdullah, a Syrian Kurdish leader. […]