US-led airstrikes against the Islamic State terrorist group (IS or ISIS) in Syria continue Saturday night, but are failing to slow the jihadis' advance on the Kurdish border town of Kobane.
Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Unit (YPG), backed by fighters from the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), have been engaged in a fierce battle with ISIS, as the Islamists seek to seize control of the key town on the border with Turkey.
But though US airstrikes - which President Barack Obama pledged would "degrade and destroy" ISIS - have extended from Iraq to Syria to aid the defense of Kobane, local sources say the strikes have been largely ineffective.
"They struck empty buildings," YPG's chief of defense for Kobane, Ismat Sheikh Hassan, told The Independent. "ISIS fighters used to be there but they left, so they haven’t helped us. If anything, they are now fighting harder to push forward before there are more strikes."
ISIS have reportedly advanced to within 3 miles of Kobane after captured dozens of surrounding villages, and residents have reported hearing airstrikes on the outskirts of town. Six civilians were killed on Saturday by ISIS shelling.
Some 140,000 Kurdish civilians have fled the town since ISIS's advance began; refugees from villages near Kobane said ISIS terrorists had beheaded civilians in the communities they captured and paraded them in the street in order to intimidate locals into submission.