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Kurdish city in Syria facing Islamic State attack

Turkish soldiers stand guard as Syrian Kurds cross the border fence into Turkey near the southeastern town of Suruc province. Credit: Reuters

The president of Iraq's Kurdistan region urged the international community to "use every means" to protect the city of Kobani in neighbouring Syria from an impending attack by Islamic State militants.

IS fighters are besieging Kobani after taking control of at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against the predominantly Kurdish city on Syria's northern border with Turkey.

Several thousand Kurds began crossing from Syria into Turkey today, fearing the attack.

Masoud Barzan said: "IS terrorists... must be hit and destroyed wherever they are."

Earlier today French jets launched their first air strikes inside Iraq since joining the military action against IS militants.

Turkey stops 3,000 Kurds from escaping Islamic State militants

Turkish security forces stop Syrians from crossing the border near Suruc. Credit: Kadir Celikcan/Reuters

Turkish forces have stopped thousands of Kurds fleeing Islamic State fighters in northern Syria from crossing the border.

About 3,000 people have fled their homes after the militants used tanks to seize control of 21 Kurdish villages in the Kobani area near the Turkish border.

For more than a year, Islamic State and Kurdish militias have clashed in the area, but IS appeared to have gained the upper hand since Wednesday.

A spokesman for Syria's powerful Kurdish Democratic Union Party called on Kurds around the world to come to Syria to defend Kobani.

About 3,000 people are waiting to cross into Turkey from from Kobani in northern Syria to escape IS fighters. Credit: Kadir Celikcan/Reuters

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France begins first air strikes against Islamic State

French jets have launched their first air strikes inside Iraq since joining the military action against Islamic State militants.

A statement from President Francois Hollande's office said: "This morning at 9.40am (7.40am UK time) our Rafale jets launched a first strike against a logistics depot of the terrorists."

French fighter jets will soon strike IS militants in Iraq

President Francois Hollande said French fighter jets will soon strike against Islamic State militants in Iraq once reconnaissance missions have identified targets.

French President Francois Hollande. Credit: Liewig Christian/ABACA

When asked when French airstrikes in Iraq would begin, he told a news conference: "As soon as we have identified targets, that means in a short time frame.

"It will be air support to protect Iraqi soldiers and Kurdish Peshmerga forces to reduce and weaken this terrorist group."

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US confirms more airstrikes on Islamic State

American fighter, attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted seven airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Iraq yesterday and today, US Central Command officials have reported.

One air strike was northwest of the Haditha Dam. Credit: Google Maps

One airstrike destroyed an ISIL armed vehicle northwest of the Haditha Dam, two airstrikes destroyed two ISIL armed vehicles northwest of Irbil.

Four airstrikes southwest of Baghdad destroyed several small ISIL ground units and a small boat on the Euphrates River that was resupplying ISIL forces in the area, officials said.

All aircraft exited the strike areas safely, they added.

Centcom has conducted a total of 174 airstrikes across Iraq, officials said.

Iranian president: IS murders are 'killing humanity'

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has issued a strongly-worded condemnation of Islamic State terrorists he says are trying to "kill humanity".

Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, condemned IS killings of civilians. Credit: Reuters

In an interview with NBC News, Mr Rouhani said IS murders of civilians were contrary to Islamic teachings.

"From the viewpoint of the Islamic tenets and culture, killing an innocent people equals the killing of the whole humanity," Mr Rouhani said.

Obama: Over 40 countries helping anti-IS effort

President Obama says "more than 40 countries" have offered to help in the fight against Islamic State terrorists.

He stressed that the US would not lead the fight alone, but would "do things differently" by building a strong international effort against the terror group, who are also known as Isis or Isil.

He told US military personnel: "We will lead a broad coalition of countries who have a stake in this fight because this is not simply America vs Isil, this is the people of the region fighting against Isil."

"It is the world rejecting the brutality of Isil and fighting for a better future for our children and our childrens' children - all of them," he added.

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