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Kurdish fighters ready for street battles, say IS group closing in on Syrian border town

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BEIRUT — A senior Kurdish fighter says the Islamic State group is closing in on the town of Kobani along the Syria-Turkey border and that his men are preparing for street battles.

The Kurdish town in northern Syria has been under assault by the Islamic extremists since mid-September.

PHOTO: Smokes rise after a mortar shell landed in the west of Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, seen from the Turkish side of border as thousands of new Syrian refugees from Kobani arrive in Suruc, Turkey, late Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. U.S.-led coalition airstrikes targeted Islamic State fighters pressing their offensive against a Kurdish town near the Syrian-Turkish border on Tuesday in an attempt to halt the militants' advance, activists said.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Smokes rise after a mortar shell landed in the west of Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, seen from the Turkish side of border as thousands of new Syrian refugees from Kobani arrive in Suruc, Turkey, late Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. U.S.-led coalition airstrikes targeted Islamic State fighters pressing their offensive against a Kurdish town near the Syrian-Turkish border on Tuesday in an attempt to halt the militants' advance, activists said.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Ismet Sheikh Hasan says the militants were still advancing on Thursday, despite renewed U.S.-led airstrikes in the area overnight.

Hasan spoke to The Associated Press over the phone from the frontline near Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab in Arabic. He says he believes the Islamic State fighters are a few kilometers (miles) away.

There was no immediate confirmation from Washington on the latest airstrikes.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group tracking the Syrian conflict, also reported the airstrikes.

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