Kurds hail US arms drop as Turkey boosts Kobane battle

Kurds hail US arms drop as Turkey boosts Kobane battle
Updated 20 October 2014

Kurds hail US arms drop as Turkey boosts Kobane battle

Kurds hail US arms drop as Turkey boosts Kobane battle

MURSITPINAR: Kurds battling militants for the Syrian border town of Kobane welcomed a first US airdrop of weapons Monday as neighboring Turkey said it will help Iraqi Kurds to join the fight.
Ankara has refused land deliveries of arms to the Syrian Kurds, who are linked with Turkey’s outlawed rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), but said it was helping Iraqi Kurds to reinforce the strategic town.
The main Syrian Kurdish fighting force in Kobane hailed the airdrop, saying it would “help greatly” in the town’s defense against a nearly five-week offensive by the Islamic State group (IS).
US Secretary of State John Kerry said it would have been “irresponsible of us, as well as morally very difficult, to turn your back on a community fighting ISIL,” using another acronym for IS.
The top US diplomat said the situation amounted to a “crisis moment” and insisted the move was not a shift in policy.
He echoed remarks by a senior administration official that the airdrop was in recognition of the “impressive” resistance put up by the Kurds and the losses they were inflicting on IS.
Three C-130 cargo aircraft carried out what the US military called “multiple” successful drops of supplies, including small arms, provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey was helping Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces to join the fight to defend Kobane.
“We are assisting peshmerga forces to cross into Kobane,” Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara, adding that talks on the issue were ongoing but without giving further details. “We have no wish at all to see Kobane fall.”
In its latest air strikes, the US-led coalition bombed a bundle of supplies that went astray near Kobane to prevent it from falling into the militants’ hands, Central Command said.
But despite carrying out its first airdrops in Kobane, the US military says its top priority remains Iraq, where IS swept through much of the Sunni heartland north and west of Baghdad in June.
Since last week, the Iraqi capital has seen a rise in the number of bomb attacks, several of which have been claimed by the IS.
And on Monday a suicide bomber detonated explosives outside a Shiite place of worship in the central Baghdad neighborhood of Sinak, killing at least 11 people and wounding 26, officials said.