Islamist militants known as ISIL have raised their flag on the outskirts of the Syrian town of Kobani.
It would appear that after an assault lasting almost three weeks the town, which lies about 15 kilometres from the Turkish border is about to fall.
There are still reports of street-by-street fighting as the majority Kurds continue to mount some sort of defence but at the same time hundreds of civilians are said to be fleeing the area.
With Kobani lying so close to Turkey, NATO’s new Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance is ready to defend its ally should the violence in Syria spill across the border.
“We have deployed patriot missiles in Turkey. We have done so to enhance the air defence capacity of Turkey, and we are planning to continue to do so.”
Turkey has already deployed its own tanks on a hill overlooking the besieged town .
It is thought ISIL wants Kobani to consolidate control of territory across northern Syria and Iraq. But the extremists have already shown they are no respecters of borders.