Jihadists from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) using heavy weapons have seized a string of villages around Kobane, also known as Ain al-Arab, as they close in on Syria’s third largest Kurdish town, a monitor said Sept. 18.

“ISIL fighters have seized at least 21 villages around Kobane,” said Syrian Observatory for Human Rights head Rami Abdel Rahman.

“The ISIL is using heavy weaponry, its artillery and tanks,” he said, adding that thousands of Kurdish fighters defending the town on the Turkish border were being encircled in a “pincer movement.” […]