USA launches more air strikes in Syria and Iraq
The United States says it has carried out 10 more air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq with the help of coalition partners.

The strikes hit seven targets in Syria, including an IS building and two armed vehicles at the border crossing in the besieged Kurdish town of Ain al-Arab, also known as Kobane, US Central Command said.

However, the latest attacks failed to stop IS fighters from continuing their assault on the strategic town on the Turkish border, which was hit with shell fire from IS for the first time on Saturday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group that supports opposition forces fighting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, said 40 Kurdish militia had been killed in the past five days of heavy fighting in the area.

It said some of the Kurdish casualties were caused by a suicide bomber who drove into the western outskirts of the town in a vehicle disguised to look as though it was carrying humanitarian aid.

US Central Command said its other targets in Syria included IS vehicles and buildings near Al-Hasakah, as well as an IS command and control facility near Minbej, near the western limit of the group's control.

"An ISIL-held airfield, an ISIL garrison and an ISIL training camp near Raqqa were damaged," it said, using an alternate acronym for the terrorist group.

The jihadists have made Raqqa, also known as Ayn al-Arab, the headquarters of the "caliphate" they declared in June straddling swathes of Iraq and Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday's air strikes set off more than 30 explosions in Raqqa, where casualties were reported.

But it said IS was still able to shell eastern parts of Kobane, wounding several people, in a sign that its fighters were drawing closer.

The air strikes were carried out by US Air Force and Navy aircraft as well as by warplanes from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has returned to Australia for Cabinet talks that could see Australian forces join the war against IS militants in Iraq.

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