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Syrian town of Kobani is about to fall to the Islamic State

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The Syrian town of Kobani, close to the Turkish border, has been under attack from Islamic State militants for almost three weeks. Fighting between Kurdish defenders and the Islamic State militants raged across the town’s streets on Monday as residents fled across the border into Turkey.

“We either die or win. No fighter is leaving,” Esmat al-Sheikh, leader of the Kobani Defense Authority, told Reuters. “The world is watching, just watching and leaving these monsters to kill everyone, even children… but we will fight to the end with what weapons we have.”

By taking Kobani, the Islamic State will consolidate a dramatic sweep across the northern parts of Iraq and Syria in the name of an extremist version of Sunni Islam that has sent shockwaves throughout the Middle East.

Even air strikes by the United States haven’t been enough to stop the Islamic State advance on the town, which has been besieged from three sides and has endured constant bombardments from heavy artillery. Desperate residents have been fleeing into Turkey to escape, where Turkish ambulances have been meeting to help evacuate them.

“We can hear the sound of clashes on the street,” Parwer Ali Mohamed, a translator for the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), told Reuters by phone as he fled. “More than 2,000 people including women and children are being evacuated. Turkish police are checking our luggage now.”

Read more about the story at The Huffington Post.

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