American air strikes have done little to dislodge Isis fighters trying to take a major Kurdish city on the Turkish border, Kurdish fighters and commanders said yesterday.
They told of the desperate battle to stop the Isis advance on Kobane, which shelters a population of at least 200,000.
One described how a friend stopped an Isis assault by dropping a bomb through a tank hatch, killing himself as well.
"He just couldn't take seeing the tanks bombing the village and killing so many people," said a young fighter of the People's Protection Units (YPG).
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With blood seeping through the bandage around his crushed lower leg, he described how his battalion fought Isis militants high on drugs in the village of Tel Gazal in Kobane province on Wednesday.
"We retreated into the village and hid to set an ambush when they attacked. They came with 10 cars with heavy machineguns strapped on top, and four tanks."
YPG fighters managed to destroy two cars, the fighter said, before his friend made his attack, causing the Isis militants to temporarily retreat.
Fighting has intensified on the southern front where the Kurdish YPG, bolstered by hundreds of Turkish Kurdish fighters and Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions, are fighting to stop the onslaught against Kobane. The battle has been focused on a hill overlooking Kobane, which sits directly on the Turkish border.
But the air strikes have been ineffective, according to the chief of defence for Kobane, Ismat Sheikh Hassan, speaking by phone from his base in the town.
"They struck empty buildings. Isis fighters used to be there but they left, so they haven't helped us. If anything, they are now fighting harder to push forward before there are more strikes."