- The Washington Times - Friday, October 3, 2014

International airstrikes may be looming in the background, but terrorists with the Islamic State are continuing their assaults, hitting especially hard at two key towns in Iraq and Syria over the last few hours.

The battles took place in the town of Hit in Iraq, by the Euphrates River, and at the crossroads of Kobane in Syria near the Turkish border, The Washington Post reported. The ongoing fighting only shows what military insiders and experts feared — that the Islamic State has enough firepower and manpower to wage war for weeks, regardless of allied airstrikes, the newspaper reported.

A senior Syrian Kurdish commander, Ismet Skeik Hasan, said his forces at Kobane have been digging in and preparing for urban combat, as Islamic State forces have initiated assaults over the last couple weeks, The Washington Post reported.

So far, more than 160,000 civilians have fled the region for Turkey, or to enclaves outside the reach of Islamic State terrorists.

If Hit falls, the terrorists will have gained big. The town is a major pipeline route and only about 115 miles from Baghdad, The Washington Post said. And the battle has been tough going; just before dawn on Thursday, Islamic State radicals set off car bombs at police headquarters, local officials reported.

The United States and allies, meanwhile, said warplanes dropped bombs over Iraq seven times between Wednesday and Thursday, The Washington Post reported. 

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