IS militants have also been beaten back this week from Amriyat al-Fallujah, a key city just west of Baghdad, but the US military denied the Iraqi capital was in "imminent" danger. The Americans said they held direct talks at the weekend in Paris with the main Syrian Kurdish group whose forces have been battling IS, adding they had yet to discuss arming the fighters.
The Kurds claimed to have pushed IS back in parts of Kobani, but the Pentagon warned that the multinational strikes may not prevent the town's fall even though hundreds of jihadists are thought to have been killed. Mortar and heavy machine-gun fire rang out later as IS appeared to have relaunched its bid to cut the town off from the Turkish border.
Despite intensified strikes on Kobani this week by the United States and its Arab allies, the Kurds are calling for increased fire power in the battle for the strategic town.
"We need more air strikes, as well as weaponry and ammunition to fight them on the ground," said Idris Nassen, an official in Kobani.
An estimated 200,000 mainly Kurdish Syrians have fled the IS onslaught for the relative safety of Turkey. A grocer who had escaped offered insight Thursday into those fighting for IS, saying that one they had captured, an Azerbaijani in his 20s, had even asked to be killed.
"He begged us to kill him so he could go to paradise and be rewarded," said Cuneyt Hemo, adding that the jihadist was held for a day and then shot dead.
IS is also battling to control other parts of Syria, including Hasakeh province, where Kurdish fighters killed 20 jihadists Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.