Kurdish YPG militia in the Syrian border town of Kobane is desperately trying to prevent Isis forces in the surrounding hills from entering.
Today there are reports of at least 10 rockets being fired into Kobane and reporters just across the Turkish border have witnessed gunfights.
Kurds inside Kobane have released videos of their defenders firing rocket propelled grenades at what appear to be Isis tanks in the distance. In one piece of footage Kurd refugees cheer as an Isis tank is destroyed.
There are claims the tank was destroyed by a female Kurd YPJ suicide bomber, though this has not been verified.
There have also been reports of Isis entering the town and the Kurds are apparently preparing to engage in urban warfare, but once the Islamists are in Kobane it will become far harder to hit them using air strikes.
Kobane is reported to be almost a ghost town, as tens-of-thousands of civilians flee across the border into Turkey, though Kurds attempting to get back across the border into Syria to bolster the defences of Kobane are reported to have been tear-gassed by Turkish troops.
Many Kurds, some inside Kobane but others across the world, have expressed bewilderment as to why the world appears unable or unwilling to intervene when Isis fighters seem exposed on the hillside. Although UK operations are currently limited to Iraq the US has been striking targets within Syria, mainly “strategic” sites such as oil refineries.
Refugee Kurds observing the attack on their homeland from just a few hundred metres across the border have expressed bewilderment and fury as to why Isis soldiers, in plain sight, are not being attacked.
“Where are the planes?” one local farmer asks Richard Engel of NBC. “Three hundred and eighty villages around here have already fallen to Isis.”
It is not known how many Kurds or Isis militants have died in the fighting, though according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights 16 Isis militants and 11 Kurds died overnight (4/5 October).
In another sign of the growing importance of social media to spread propaganda and document events, both sides have posted videos, photographs and tweets glorifying their struggle.
Although there are some similarities – both sides tend to feature lots of heavily-armed men singing comradely songs to rouse the spirits – the Kurds have focussed on the fact that their militias contain women.
In one of the most moving videos released by the Kurds, a female soldier called Leyla sings The Kobane Song while lying in a hospital after being injured by Isis fighters. A few hours later, it is reported, she passed away.
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