Kurdish fighters enter Syria from Turkey to counter advance by Islamic State group

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BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say hundreds of Kurdish fighters are crossing into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area under attack by Islamic State militants.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and local Kurdish official say hundreds of fighters have been streaming into the Kobani area in northern Syria. Islamic State insurgents have barreled through the area over the past week, seizing villages and forcing thousands of Syrian Kurds to flee.

Syrian Kurdish fighters had been successfully fighting off the militants for the past two years. They even clashed with the Islamic State group's fighters in northern Iraq, carving a safe passage for thousands of embattled Iraqis of the Yazidi minority.

But the tide changed this month, as Islamic State fighters used weapons and armor seized from Iraqi soldiers to advance into the Kobani area.

Kurdish officials are appealing for international assistance.

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