Kobane: Syrian rebels join Kurds in battle against IS

Kobane: Syrian rebels join Kurds in battle against IS
Kurdish fighters finally receive first batch of long awaited reinforcements to aid them in the battle against the Islamic State group.
2 min read
29 October, 2014
Kobane symbolises the fight against IS [Getty]

A group of Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters crossed the border into Syria from Turkey on Wednesday, to join the forces fighting the Islamic State group (IS, formerly known as ISIS) in the town of Kobane.

A Turkish official claimed that 150 FSA fighters crossed the border overnight in a convoy of buses.

However, London-based opposition group, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights, said that only 50 fighters crossed into Syria.

The deployment has yet to be confirmed by officials in Ankara.

Turkey, which has called for the ousting of President Bashar al-Assad as the only viable solution to the Syrian conflict, is a strong supporter of the FSA.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a BBC interview on Wednesday that US-led coalition forces ought to "equip and train FSA forces" as the only viable way to help Kobane.

Iraqi reinforcement

Meanwhile, Iraqi-Kurdish peshmerga fighters who arrived in Turkey overnight were still on the Turkish side of the border on Wednesday, preparing to join the fight against the Islamic State group.

One contingent which arrived in the southern Turkish city of Sanliurfa by air overnight were billeted at an undisclosed location in the border town of Suruc, said a local Turkish official.

Another group - reportedly laden with heavy weaponry - crossed into Turkey from Iraq by land in the early hours of the morning via the Habur border crossing.

Local Turkish Kurds received the Peshmerga fighters with flags, cheering from road bridges along their route.

An Iraqi-Kurdish official said that 200 of the Peshmerga will join the fight for Kobane.

Turkey has been wary of giving support to the Kurdish militia forces in Kobane, the People's Protection Units (YPG), as it has close links with the outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) - which has lead a three-decade armed struggle for independence against Turkey.