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Kobane in crisis: A look at a Syrian town at the center of the Islamic State fight

For weeks, the siege on Kobane, a northern Syrian town near the Turkish border, has been underway. Militants with the Islamic State have sought to wrest control of the region from Kurdish forces, effectively drawing Turkey into the military campaign as the Islamists seek to expand the turf they control and secure a strategically important crossing point.

Turkey hasn’t sent its military across the border into Syria yet, but its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Tuesday that the town, also spelled Kobani, could soon fall to the Islamic State. If that occurs, it would happen despite a wave of airstrikes by the United States and its partners in recent days.

U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, said Tuesday that it had launched nine airstrikes in Syria in the last day, including five around Kobani that included participation by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Two occurred south of the town, destroying three armed vehicles, destroying a fourth and taking out a militant ground unit. Another strike southeast of Kobane destroyed an armed vehicle carrying anti-aircraft artillery, and two airstrikes southwest of the town damaged a tank controlled by the militants, U.S. military officials said.

The conflict has unfolded on social media, and also can be seen in variety of images taken on the battlefield by professional photographers. Here are some of the best:

The Twitter account @cahitstorm has been posting what it says are photographs and other updates from Kobane. Planes flying out of Turkey appear to have hit several targets, it said. A few key updates:

The plane the Twitter user identified is a B-1B Lancer bomber, flown by the U.S. Air Force.