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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Islamic State Crisis: FSA Reinforcements Boost Kobane Defence.

Up to 200 Syrian rebels have arrived in Kobane to help Kurdish fighters defending the northern border town against Islamic State (IS) militants.
All were fighting under the flag
of the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, an FSA commander in Kobane told the BBC.
The news came as about 150 Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters arrived in Turkey on their way to the town.
One contingent flew from Iraq to south-east Turkey while others with heavy weapons are driving overland. 

After coming under considerable international pressure to do more to prevent Kobane falling into IS hands, the Turkish government agreed to the deployments last week.
It has refused to allow Turkish Kurds from the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which it considers a terrorist group, to cross the border to fight since the assault on Kobane began six weeks ago. 

The PKK has fought a decades-long insurgency in Turkey, but agreed to a ceasefire last year.
The government in Ankara fears the Turkish Kurds will join the PKK's Syrian offshoot, the Democratic Unity Party (PYD), and use its territory to launch attacks on Turkey.
The battle for Kobane has emerged as a major test of whether the US-led coalition's air campaign can push back IS. 

Weeks of air strikes in and around Kobane have allowed fighters from the PYD's armed wing, the Popular Protection Units (YPG), to prevent it from falling. But clashes continued on Tuesday and a local Kurdish commander said IS still controlled 40% of the town.
Source:BBC

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