World

Kurdish fighters halt Islamic State group's advance in Syrian border town

  • As seen from Mursitpinar in the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, a Turkish forces armoured vehicle patrols the border road as in the background thick smoke rises following an airstrike by the US-led coalition in Kobani, Syria as fighting intensified between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

    As seen from Mursitpinar in the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, a Turkish forces armoured vehicle patrols the border road as in the background thick smoke rises following an airstrike by the US-led coalition in Kobani, Syria as fighting intensified between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Thick smoke, debris and fire rise following an airstrike by the US-led coalition in Kobani, Syria as fighting intensified between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, as seen from Mursitpinar on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

    Thick smoke, debris and fire rise following an airstrike by the US-led coalition in Kobani, Syria as fighting intensified between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, as seen from Mursitpinar on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Turkish Kurd, standing in Mursitpinar, in  the outskirts of Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border, watches smoke from fires caused by strikes during fighting between militants of the Islamic State group and Kurdish forces in Kobani, Syria, background,  Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

    A Turkish Kurd, standing in Mursitpinar, in the outskirts of Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border, watches smoke from fires caused by strikes during fighting between militants of the Islamic State group and Kurdish forces in Kobani, Syria, background, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)  (The Associated Press)

Activists say Kurdish fighters have been able to halt the advance of the Islamic State extremist group in the Syrian border town of Kobani, where the U.S.-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes for more than two weeks.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the militants have not been able to advance since Friday but are sending in reinforcements.

Farhad Shami, a Kurdish activist in Kobani reached by phone from Beirut, says the town was "relatively quiet" on Sunday apart from sniper fire.

He said Islamic State fighters launched an offensive south of the town Saturday but were repelled and lost many fighters.

Rami Abdurrahman, the Observatory's chief, said 36 jihadi fighters were killed in Kobani on Saturday. The jihadists control more than a third of the town.