The battle for the ethnic-Kurdish city of Kobane on the Turkish-Syria border could see Iraqi Kurds join the fray in greater numbers after Turkey's decision, a reversal of its previous policy.
The battle for Kobane, a Syrian border town, may have tipped in favor of Kurdish militia seeking to fend off militants from the self-styled Islamic State. US-led airstrikes have played a role.
A look at what victory or defeat would mean for the self-styled Islamic State – and for US objectives in its expanding war in Syria and Iraq.
Turkey says it's unrealistic for it to launch unilateral ground attacks against IS. The US, which is leading an air campaign in Syria, is trying to check the advance of militants against Kurdish forces.
The battle for the Syrian border town of Kobane has pitted Turkey against its NATO allies, which want to see a more robust response to Islamic State's offensive. US-led airstrikes appear to be checking the militants' advance into the town.
If the Syrian border town of Kobane falls, IS will control a long stretch of the Syria-Turkey border, threatening the security of the Kurdish-majority area. US-led airstrikes haven't stopped the advance.
Islamic State forces reportedly have surrounded a Turkish exclave in Syria where the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire is entombed. Turkey's Parliament is expected Thursday to authorize the deployment of troops to confront IS forces.
Efforts to expand the anti-Islamic State coalition include the debate in Britain's Parliament, deliberations in Denmark and Belgium, and US overtures to Turkey. US and French jets struck IS oil targets overnight in Syria.