Turkish military blocks locals from joining Peshmerga mission to Kobane

Rudaw reports: The Turkish military is holding Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers seven kilometers from the Turkish border to Syria, delaying their mission in the besieged city of Kobane, Peshmerga officials told Rudaw.

A Peshmerga commander says his troops are in the town of Pirsus, guarded by Turkish military to prevent enthusiastic locals from joining the Iraqi Kurdish unit. The Iraqi Kurdish troops will provide artillery support to the Syrian Kurdish militia defending the city.

He declined to provide further details about the location and timing of their passage to Kobane, but confirmed that the Islamic State had intensified attacks in expectation of their arrival and the US-led coalition planned targeted airstrikes to facilitate a safe crossing.

They will be the first foreign soldiers to be dispatched to the Syrian Kurdish border town, which has been under siege by ISIS for more than 40 days. Local Kurdish fighters have held out with backing from US-led airstrikes.

This comes a day after the Free Syrian Army (FSA) said 200 its fighters had entered Kobane at the request of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian-Kurdish force that has been defending the city against an ISIS takeover. [Continue reading…]

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