ISIS militants have taken control of key cities in Iraq's western province of Anbar and have begun to besiege one of the country's largest military bases in a weeklong offensive that has brought them within artillery range of Baghdad, McClatchy Newspapers reported, citing Iraqi soldiers. This week's push was particularly worrisome, because for the first time this year Islamist insurgents were reported to have become a major presence in Abu Ghraib, the last Anbar town on the outskirts of the capital. A diplomat in Irbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region, said an ISIS presence in Abu Ghraib would put Baghdad International Airport within artillery range of the militants.
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Turkey vows to protect town
Kurdish fighters battled ISIS on Friday near a Syrian Kurdish town along the border with Turkey as Turkey's prime minister said his country will prevent the fall of Kobani. The Kurdish town and its surroundings have been under attack since mid-September. The assault, which has forced some 160,000 Syrians to flee, has left the Kurdish militiamen scrambling to repel the militants' advance into the town's outskirts.