Kurdish forces in northern Syria pushed back an advance by fighters of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) towards a strategic town on the Turkish border on Sept. 25 and appealed for U.S.-led air strikes to target the insurgents’ tanks and heavy armaments.

ISIL launched a new offensive to try to capture the border town of Kobani more than a week ago, besieging it from three sides. At least 140,000 Kurds have fled the town and surrounding villages since Sept. 19, crossing into Turkey.

Kurdish and Islamic State fighters exchanged artillery and machinegun fire in a cluster of villages about 15 km (9 miles) west of Kobane, where the frontline appeared not to have moved significantly for several days, a Reuters witness said. […]