Irbil, Iraq (CNN) – Turkish soldiers and tanks took up position along the border with Syria on Tuesday as its government debated whether to deploy troops to battle the Islamic State terror group, a move that comes as tens of thousands pour into the country to escape ISIS fighters.
The flood of refugees from Syria has escalated – with 150,000 people fleeing to Turkey in recent days – as ISIS fighters armed with tanks and heavy weapons advance on the predominantly Kurdish town of Kobani, known in Arabic as Ayn al Arab, destroying villages in their path.
ISIS fighters were just three kilometers (nearly two miles) east of the northern Syria town late Monday, a civilian in Kobani told CNN on condition of anonymity. CNN cannot independently confirm the claim, though it matches reports released by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group.
U.S. airstrikes overnight targeted ISIS positions near Kobani, said Rear Adm. John Kirby, spokesman for the Pentagon.