Syrian Kurds from Kobani wait behind the border fences to cross into Turkey on Friday. An attack by Islamic State fighters on the Syrian town of Kobani and a nearby village has so far killed at least 146 civilians, the second-biggest massacre by the hardline group in the country, a conflict monitor said on Friday. Murad Sezer/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Murad Sezer/Reuters/Landov

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are separated from Islamic State extremists by only short distances in some places around Mosul in northern Iraq, but there has not been heavy fighting recently or any changes in the front lines. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Alice Fordham/NPR

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take positions on the outskirts of Mosul on Jan. 26. The U.S. military says an offensive to drive the Islamic State out of Mosul is expected around April or May. Azad Lashkari/Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Azad Lashkari/Reuters /Landov

Training at a new camp near the front line, a mix of Arabs and Kurds prepare for an assault on Mosul in upcoming months. The men will wear balaclavas to conceal their identities while they fight, because they have family in Mosul and don't want to put their relatives at risk. Ari Shapiro/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ari Shapiro/NPR

Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters arrive Saturday in Sinjar in northern Iraq, where they have made gains against the Islamic State. The Kurds were talking about independence this summer, but now appear focused on fighting the Islamic State. Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

Iraqi Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani speaks with the media at Mount Sinjar, in the town of Sinjar, on Sunday. Barzani was visiting an area that was recently retaken from ISIS militants. STRINGER/IRAQ/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption STRINGER/IRAQ/Reuters/Landov

The Iraqi town of Halabja is dominated by Kurds, the group that has been fighting the Islamic State in northern Iraq. However, some Kurdish residents have been slipping away to join the Islamic State. Yahya Ahmad/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Yahya Ahmad/Reuters/Landov

Iraqi Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari announced Tuesday that the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan region have started implementing a deal under which Baghdad resumes funding Kurdish civil servant salaries in return for a share of Kurdish oil exports. Ali Abbas/EPA /LANDOV hide caption

itoggle caption Ali Abbas/EPA /LANDOV

An Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter hold his position in the mountains east of Mosul. Jim Lopez/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

An explosion following an airstrike is seen in the Syrian town of Kobani from near the Mursitpinar border crossing in the southeastern town of Suruc, in Turkey's Sanliurfa province, on Wednesday. Yannis Behrakis/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Yannis Behrakis/Reuters/Landov

Three female members of Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and an Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighter stand near the front line in Makhmur, in northern Iraq, on Aug. 9. The Turkish and Iraqi Kurds have been fighting together against the Islamic State. Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

Peshmerga look out from a front-line outpost — a few sandbags, soldiers, and grenades perched on the brow of a hill — to the eastern Iraqi town of Jalula. The Kurdish fighters are grappling with how to combat changing ISIS tactics. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Alice Fordham/NPR

Aza Betwata (left) and his brother Mirwan (center) left Holland to join the Kurdish peshmerga fighting against ISIS militants in northern Iraq. Though the brothers come from a family of fighters, Aza had just two days of training — his brother must show him how to strip and clean his rifle. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Alice Fordham/NPR

Syrian Kurdish fighter Delkhwaz Sheikh Ahmad, 22, sits with his wife Siham, 23, and their two sons, Dilyar and Ibrahim, at his brother's house on the Turkey-Syria border on Friday. He was preparing to leave for Kobani, Syria, to rejoin the fighting against the Islamic State. Lefteris Pitarakis/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

itoggle caption Lefteris Pitarakis/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Thick smoke rises following an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition in Kobani, Syria, while fighting continued between Syrian Kurds and the militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, as seen from Mursitpinar on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border on Wednesday. Lefteris Pitarakis/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

A black flag belonging to the so-called Islamic State is seen in the Syrian town of Kobani on Thursday, as seen from the Turkey-Syria border near the southeastern town of Suruc. Umit Bektas/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Umit Bektas/Reuters/Landov

Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Kobani, seen from near the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province, on Friday. Murad Sezer/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Murad Sezer/Reuters/Landov

A Kurdish peshmerga soldier who was wounded Sept. 30 in fierce battles in nearby Nineveh province with Islamic State group militants is brought to the Zakho Emergency Hospital in Dahuk, Iraq. Hadi Mizban/The Associated Press hide caption

itoggle caption Hadi Mizban/The Associated Press