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Fighting Intensifies Around Syrian Border Town

Fighting is reported to have intensified between Islamic State (IS) militants and Kurdish fighters near Kobani, a key Syrian town near the border with Turkey.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, IS fighters are getting closer to Kobani, which sits on a road linking north and northwestern Syria.

The report on October 2 comes a day after U.S.-led forces carried out at least five air strikes against the militants besieging Kobani.

There have been fierce clashes around the town since mid-September, when IS militants launched an assault to seize the area.

Their advance has caused more than 150,000 Kurds to flee to Turkey.

On October 1, the British-based Observatory said nine Kurdish fighters -- including three women -- captured in clashes near Kobani had been beheaded by IS militants.

Meanwhile, in related news, Turkey's parliament is due to consider on October 2 a government request to authorize military action in both Iraq and Syria.

The motion would address threats from IS, which controls large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

The Turkish parliament previously approved operations into Iraq and Syria to attack Kurdish separatists based in northern Iraq or thwart threats from the Damascus regime.

Ankara has not yet indicated how it will support the U.S.-led coalition against the IS militants, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for a buffer zone on the Turkish border inside Syria -- backed by a no-fly zone -- to ensure security.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa