U.S. airdrops with weapons and ammunition raise morale inside Kobane

The New York Times reports: Kurdish officials had repeatedly complained that without new supplies of ammunition and weapons, the airstrikes would not be sufficient to drive away the militants. On Monday, a commander in Kobani, Abu Hasan, said that “spirits and morale were high,” after the airdrops, which United States officials said included 27 palettes from Iraqi Kurdish authorities and contained medical supplies, ammunition and weapons.

The containers fell to the west of Kobani at about 4 a.m. local time, he said, adding that one palette that fell astray was destroyed to prevent it from falling into militant hands.

Polat Can, a spokesman for the Kurdish fighters in Syria, said that shipment included antitank weapons. He said that the Kurdish forces were expecting more airdrops in the coming days.

There was less visible fighting in the city during the day. In the afternoon, fires started appearing to the east of the city, an area still partially controlled by ISIS fighters, and residents fretted that the militants were torching homes.

Mr. Cavusoglu did not say how or when the pesh merga fighters would cross into Kobani. Late Monday, Hemin Hawrami, an Iraqi Kurdish official, wrote on Twitter that the fighters had been ordered to deploy in the next 48 hours.

A senior Pentagon official said on Monday, speaking on the condition of anonymity, that “it will be a significant change to be able to have a free flow of fighters going into Kobani.”

A Kurdish defense official in Kobani, Ismet Sheikh Hassan said he had not been given any information about when the pesh merga would arrive. He welcomed the influx, while asserting that the Kurdish fighters already in the city — members of the People’s Protection Forces, the Y.P.G. — were not desperate for more fighters.

“We are short on ammunition and weapons,” he said “not on human power.” [Continue reading…]

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