Kurdish fighters in the battleground Syrian town of Kobane weathered an onslaught by militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Oct. 21 as they awaited promised reinforcements from Iraq.

The Kurdish militia faced a fierce attack by ISIL fighters, including suicide bombers, late on Monday, that appeared aimed at cutting off the border with Turkey before any reinforcements could arrive, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Ankara’s announcement on Oct. 20 that it would help Kurdish forces from Iraq to relieve Kobane’s beleaguered defenders marked a major shift of policy and was swiftly welcomed by Washington. […]