U.S. backs Kurds on arms for Kobane, exposing more cracks in Turkey ties

Rudaw reports: In a clear sign of further cracks in US-Turkish ties, the US Department of State said Monday it backs Erbil’s move to send more arms to Kobane, the same day the Turkish president railed against too much international attention to the besieged Syrian-Kurdish town.

A group of 150 Peshmerga fighters from the Kurdistan Region are fighting alongside Syrian-Kurdish defenders who have resisted an overrun by the Islamic State, the jihadi group most commonly known as ISIS or ISIL.

“We support what they’re (Kurds) – their help in fighting back against ISIL in Kobane, yes,” said the US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, responding to a reporter’s question about whether the US supports the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) decision to resupply Kurdish fighters in Kobane.

Major general Karzan Shaqlawai of the Peshmerga Ministry told Rudaw that a new resupply convoy of arms was on its way to Kobane with weapons for the Peshmerga and Syrian People’s Protection Units (YPG). They said the convoy was going through Turkey.

Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê reports: YPG Commander Mahmud Berxwedan said after the peshmerga forces crossed into Kobanê they have acted like a single army, rather than in coordination. He added: “The peshmerga are endeavouring to carry out what is asked of them in a self-sacrificing way.” Mahmud Berxwedan said the peshmerga had carried out effective strikes against the ISIS gangs with the heavy weaponry they had brought with them.

Mahmud Berxwedan said that since the end of October the initiative had passed to the YPG forces and answered questions from the ANF regarding the arrival of the peshmerga, the situation of civilians and the latest state of the conflict. [Continue reading…]

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