BAGHDAD(CNN) -- ISIS militants launched about 15 near-simultaneous attacks on Kurdish forces in northern Iraq on Monday in what Kurdish government officials and the Kurdish news agency Rudaw said was a fierce and renewed push for Kurdish-held territory.
The deadliest of the attacks targeted Mosul Dam, a hugely important location.
First, an ISIS-commandeered military truck loaded with explosives targeted a Peshmerga checkpoint along the security belt circling the dam, killing six Peshmerga security forces and injuring seven others critically, according to Peshmerga forces spokesman Said Mamazeen.
At almost the same time, ISIS militants launched an attack on the Nineveh Valley near the dam, which was repelled by Peshmerga forces using European and American weapons, the spokesman said.
Another Kurdish military official, who asked not to be named for protocol and security reasons, said that despite the attacks, it would be difficult for ISIS to gain control of the dam because of the large numbers of Peshmerga forces in the area.
A senior official at the Ministry of Peshmerga, who similarly asked not to be identified as a matter of government protocol, reported that ISIS fighters were also killed in the attacks, and that the Peshmerga successfully repelled most of the more than dozen incidents Monday.
U.S. and allied airstrikes
Still under siege despite gains against ISIS, fighters defending the Syrian city of Kobani are getting more help, in addition to U.S. airstrikes.
U.S. military cargo planes dropped in much-needed weapons, ammunition and medical gear in the dead of night Sunday.
And on Monday, Turkey's foreign minister announced his country would let Kurdish Peshmerga from Iraq use Turkish territory to enter Syria and reinforce fighters in Kobani.
The help is desperately needed, Kobani officials say. Even though defenders control some 70% of the city, Kobani is cut off and ISIS forces continue to shell it with mortars from the east and south, said Anwar Muslim, a local government official in Kobani.
"We always need more water and food, we are essentially under siege," he said.
Tens of thousands of civilians have fled to Turkey as a result of weeks of intense fighting between Syrian Kurdish forces and the Free Syrian Army for control of Kobani, a border town that's one of the last in the region to resist falling to ISIS.
The city appeared to be close to falling before U.S. and allied airstrikes helped drive back ISIS forces.
Still, the city remains cut off from the ground. The Turkish decision to allow Iraqi Peshmerga to enter Syria through its territory could provide an influx of much-needed ground forces to help.
But no Peshmerga have yet arrived in Kobani to aid in the city's defense, Muslim said Monday.
"There has not been any communication with (the Iraqi Kurds) on this, with us inside," Muslim said. "We will announce it when and if they come."
On Monday, a fighter inside Kobani said two car bombers detonated their explosives in the city's eastern industrial area. One killed two Syrian Kurdish fighters, and the other was shot at by Kurdish forces and detonated explosives before reaching intended targets, said the fighter, who can't be named for security reasons.
ISIS also launched a new attack from the east at the Mursitpinar border crossing with Turkey on Monday night, hitting it with at least a dozen mortar shells in an hour, the fighter said.
The fighter also reported three daytime airstrikes Monday in the city's industrial section.
Consultation with Turkey
Sunday's airdrop in Kobani was delivered by three C-130 cargo planes and appeared to have been received on the ground by Kurdish fighters, senior Obama administration officials said.
A fighter on the ground in Kobani who cannot be identified for security reasons saw more than 100 large crates, including a crate with M-16 guns. A doctor in Kobani said he had received a ton of crucial medical supplies, including antibiotics and other materials.
President Barack Obama notified Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the drop in a phone conversation Saturday night, administration officials said.
"We have made clear to the Turkish government for some days now the urgency of facilitating resupply to those forces," one official said.
Erdogan was quoted in the Turkish media as saying it would be inappropriate for the United States to arm Kurdish militants in Kobani whom he considers terrorists.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, however, said that Turkish officials had evaluated "the United States' airdrop of military and medical aid that was provided by our Iraqi Kurdish brothers to Kobani and all the forces that are defending Kobani within this framework. And we are helping Peshmerga forces to cross into Kobani for support. Talks on this are continuing."
But he said Turkey is not ready to back fully the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, known by its Kurdish acronym PYD.
Cavusoglu equated the PYD with ISIS, saying both aim to control Syrian territory, which Turkey and the Free Syrian Army both oppose.
"We think it (the PYD) is a threat to Syria's future, territorial integrity and democratic structure, and as long as the PYD continues with these goals, it cannot get the support of the Free Syrian Army or Turkey," Cavusoglu said.
The airdrop was partly humanitarian but also aimed at shoring up the Kurdish defenders of Kobani, senior Obama administration officials said, acknowledging it was a shift in the administration's tactics.
"This is a part of the President's larger strategy to degrade and destroy ISIL wherever they are," one official said, using the term favored by the administration and some other nations in referring to ISIS, which also calls itself the "Islamic State."
The United States has generally downplayed the importance of Kobani as a key city in the battle against the militants.
However, if ISIS takes Kobani, it would mean the group would control land between the northern Syrian city of Raqqa and Turkey -- about 100 kilometers (60 miles) apart.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria took control of Raqqa last year. ISIS uses the once liberal city as a kind of headquarters where it applies its hard-line interpretation of Islamic law, terrorizing the population.
With the help of airstrikes from an international coalition led by the United States, Kurdish and Iraqi forces are now focused on pushing ISIS back from its relentless attempt to take Kobani.
Official: Strategy working
The strategy against ISIS is working, Gen. Lloyd Austin, head of U.S. Central Command, said last week.
U.S. warplanes struck only twice Friday and Saturday in Kobani, Central Command said, both times targeting ISIS fighting positions. That's far fewer strikes than days before. U.S. jets flew at least 14 missions near the city Thursday and Friday, the military reported.
It will take "strategic patience" to beat ISIS, Austin said.
A heavy hit?
ISIS has apparently taken a heavy hit over the past several days. The bodies of at least 70 fighters for the terror group have been dropped off over four days at a hospital in the Syrian town of Tal Abyad, a Syrian opposition group told CNN. Tal Abyad is on the Turkish border and about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Raqqa.
It's unclear who dropped the bodies of the ISIS fighters off at the hospital, but it was probably other fighters from the militant group, because they control Tal Abyad.