According to new reports, at least 553 people are said to have died in a month in the Kurdish town of Kobane, Syria, under Islamic State (ISIS) attack.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based Syrian opposition body which monitors the conflict, counted 298 IS fighters among the dead.
US aircraft have bombed ISIS positions as Kurdish fighters cling on to the town’s vital border crossing with Turkey.
However, the defenders say they are outgunned on the ground.
“The supply of fighters is very good…” Kobane official Idris Nassan told Reuters news agency.
“But fighters coming without arms, without weaponry, is not going to make a critical difference.”
Correspondents watched from just over the border in Turkey on Saturday, October 11, as fighting raged for the town.
Turkey, wary of its recent long conflict with its own large Kurdish population, has ruled out any unilateral ground intervention.
Some 200,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees have crossed the border since the ISIS advance began nearly a month ago.
Meanwhile, fighting has continued in Iraq, where ISIS overran large parts of the north during the summer.
According to the Observatory, the true figure for deaths in the siege of Kobane could be more than 1,100 since the ISIS attack began on September 16.
Of the deaths it has been able to document, 226 are of Kurdish fighters and nine are of other Syrian opposition fighters, who were fighting on their side.
Of the 20 civilian deaths recorded, 17 were victims of ISIS executions, it said.
Kobane resounded to small-arms fire and explosions on Saturday following the failure of a pre-dawn ISIS offensive to take more ground.
According to the Pentagon, US air strikes on ISIS targets at Kobane since October 10 have hit an ISIS fighting position; damaged a command and control facility; destroyed a staging building; struck two small units of fighters; and destroyed three lorries.
Idris Nassan said the air strikes had helped the Kurdish fighters regain some territory in the south of the city but they were not enough.
“A few days ago, [ISIS] attacked with a Humvee vehicle, they use mortars, cannons, tanks,” he said.
“We don’t need just Kalashnikovs and bullets. We need something effective since they captured many tanks and military vehicles in Iraq.”
In Europe, at least 20,000 Kurds living in Germany marched in the city of Duesseldorf on Saturday to highlight the threat to Kurds in Kobane.
At a smaller rally in the Austrian town of Bregenz, two people were stabbed and seriously wounded when Kurdish protesters clashed with a rival demonstration, said to involve Turks and Chechens.
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