Thick smoke and flames from an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition rise in Kobani, Syria, as seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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An attack by ISIS on the Syrian town of Kobani has stalled but, in neighboring Iraq, government troops are months from mounting a major fightback, U.S. officials said.U.S.-led aircraft have flown nearly 6,600 sorties in the air war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and dropped more than 1,700 bombs, the U.S. military said. The airstrikes have helped Kobani's Kurdish militia defenders hold out against the more heavily armed jihadists but have not stopped ISIS making new gains in parts of Iraq. When ISIS fighters swept through the Sunni Arab heartland north and west of Baghdad in June, government security forces largely melted away and a U.S. military official said it would take months for the Shiite-led government in Baghdad to reorganize them for a counteroffensive.Iraqi security forces are currently able to stage small-scale attacks against ISIS, but need time to plan and train for a larger operation, even with the aid of U.S.-led airstrikes, the official told reporters.
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