Groups of Kurdish men look at the siege of the Syrian town of Kobane from the Turkish border.
Laurent Laughlin for TIME
By Laurent Laughlin
December 15, 2014

In recent weeks, the town of Kobani in Syria has become a symbol of resistance against Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) militants.

A battle to control the border city has raged for over two months between ISIS and Kurdish fighters, as the town occupies a strategic position on the Turkish border that, if it were to fall, would allow ISIS to control much of the region.

Every day, groups of Kurdish men and women gather to watch the war from across the border in Turkey as their relatives fight the extremist organization. One Kurdish supporter, Hasan Kara, spoke with fear if Kobani were to fall in the hands of ISIS. “As a Kurd I can’t just wait here and watch. Actually as a human being… they shouldn’t expect anyone to stand here and do nothing.”

In recent weeks, coalition forces led by the U.S. have conducted a series of air strikes near the border city and have dropped weapons, ammunition and medical supplies in the Kurdish held areas.

Turkey has resisted calls to help the Kurds in their offensive against the radical group, describing them as a terrorist group like the Kurdish militant group the PKK.

But with no clear victor in sight, and an estimated 1,400 killed during fighting according to the Syrian Observatory for Human rights, thousands of Syrian refugees have attempted to escape the war-torn town to reach refugee camps in neighboring Turkey.

 

 

 

 

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