Despite shortage of weapons, Kobane resists valiantly
Turkey will allow hundreds of Syrian rebels to join the Kurdish forces defending Kobane from "Islamic State" militants. There are also plans for 200 Peshmarga fighters from Kurdistan to go to the town.
President Erdogan said that Kurdish forces in Kobane would soon receive reinforcements in the form of 1,300 fighters from the Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA).
The FSA rebels are expected to join an estimated 2,000 Syrian Kurds fighting the IS for the control of the embattled town of Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border. Kobane has been under siege by IS militants since mid-September when the jihadists encircled the town and began using Hamvee and tanks to push north towards the Turkish border.
The Kurds in Rojava [Syrian Kurdistan] have "accepted 1,300 people from the Free Syrian Army and they are holding talks to determine the transit route," Erdogan told reporters.
However, the co-chair- man of the Syrian Kurdish PYD Salih Muslim, the main group defending Kobane, said no deal has been reached yet on the passage of the fighters.
"We have already established connection with FSA but no such agreement has been reached yet," Muslim said.
The Syrian border town of Kobane appears in less danger of falling to the Islamic State, but the threat still remain, the U.S. officials said on Thursday, offering a measured view of a key battle against the militant group.
Officials at the U.S. military's Central Command warned the Islamic State could ultimately capture the town, even after coalition air strikes and air drops of weapons and medical supplies to help Syrian Kurdish fighters fend off the militants in street battles.
One U.S. defense official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, said that the Kurdish forces appeared likely to hold some ground unless the cur- rent battleground dynamic changes. That is despite Islamic State efforts to reinforce their fighters there.
"With the current air strikes that are going on in support of the Kurdish fighters who know the town, the line has kind of stabilized," the official said.
A U.S. military official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was too soon to say whether the resupply of weapons would make a difference.
The official extolled the Kurdish fighters, saying: "The city could fall. But they're fighting very well right now."
Asked whether Kobane was in less danger, he added: "I would say so."
The battle for Kobane has become a focal point in the U.S.-led coalition campaign against the IS group in Syria and in Iraq, and the Central Command announced more air strikes around the town near Turkey's border. The U.S.-led coalition has carried out 286 air strikes in Syria since launching air strikes there a month ago.
Turkish President Erdogan said agreement had been reached on sending 200 Kurdish Peshmarga fighters from Kurdistan through Turkey to help defend Ko- bane.
A senior official in the Kurdish government said that Peshmarga would be equipped with heavier weapons than those now used by the Kurdish fighters. They ask for armorpiercing weapons to fend off and defeat the Islamic State.
Kurdish people observe smoke rising from Kobani on the horizon.