De­spite short­age of weapons, Kobane re­sists valiantly

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

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.

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