Turkey’s Erdogan Says:

200 Peshmerga to Join anti-ISIS Fighting in Kobane

Thu Oct 23, 2014 17:25:44

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday agreement had been reached on sending 200 Kurdish peshmerga fighters from Iraq through Turkey to help defend the Syrian border town of Kobani against ISIS.

A senior official in Iraq's Kurdistan region told Reuters the peshmerga would be equipped with heavier weapons than those being used by Kurdish fighters in Kobani, who say they need armour-piercing weapons to fend off ISIS.

Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers on Wednesday approved sending the fighters, marking the semi-autonomous region's first military foray into Syria's war.Peshmerga spokesman Halgurd Hikmat said preparations to deploy to Kobani were going on, but it would not happen on Thursday.

ISIS keen to consolidate territorial gains in northern Syria, has pressed an offensive on Kobani even as U.S.-led forces continue bombing the terrorists positions.The United States has air-dropped weapons and medical supplies to Kurds in Kobani provided by Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Erdogan on Thursday renewed criticism of the move, describing the main Kurdish force defending the town as a "terrorist" group. "Did Turkey view this business positively? No it didn't.

"America did this in spite of Turkey and I told him Kobani is not currently a strategic place for you, if anything it is strategic for us," he said of a telephone call with U.S. President Barack Obama at the weekend.

U.S. military forces again focused air strikes on the area near the Syrian city of Kobani in their campaign to turn back ISIS forces and also hit oil facilities held by the militant group.A total of 15 strikes were staged against ISIS in Iraq and Syria on Wednesday and Thursday, four strikes near the key border city of Kobani, two more that knocked out oil tanks east of Deir Az Zour of Syria, Four air strikes in Iraq near the vital Mosul Dam and another attack near Beiji took out a fighting position, according to a statement from Central Command.

US-led strikes kill more than 500 militants in Syria

US-led air strikes in Syria were reported Thursday to have killed more than 500 terrorists in a month, as fighting raged in the embattled border town of Kobane.An AFP correspondent across the frontier in Turkey reported fierce clashes in several parts of Kobane Thursday, with heavy gun and mortar fire.

The town's Kurdish defenders have been holding out against an assault by the ISIS militant group for more than a month, buoyed in recent days by a promise of Iraqi Kurd reinforcements and US air drops of weapons.

Fighter jets were again heard flying over Kobane on Thursday, the AFP reporter said, a month after the US-led coalition expanded its aerial campaign against IS in Iraq to Syria.

The air strikes have killed 553 people since their launch, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, including 464 IS fighters and 57 militants from Al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front.

Thirty-two civilians have also been killed, including six children and five women, said the Britain-based Observatory, which relies on a wide network of sources inside Syria.

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP that the "vast majority" of terrorists killed in the strikes were not Syrians but foreign fighters who had joined IS and Nusra in the country.

string(1410) "[{"id":"1639950","sort":"3272246","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/10/12/alalam_635487326278428672_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Many Iraqi Girls and Women still Remain in ISIS Captivity"} ,{"id":"1640435","sort":"3272247","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/10/14/alalam_635489034706315020_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"5 Taliban Commanders Declare Allegiance to ISIS"} ,{"id":"1641004","sort":"3272248","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/10/16/alalam_635490735574239294_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Dozen's ISIS Members Detained in Malaysia"} ,{"id":"1641057","sort":"3272249","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/10/16/alalam_635490869724181508_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Kurdish Fighters Push Backs ISIS in Kobane"} ,{"id":"1641266","sort":"3272250","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/10/17/alalam_635491660223943306_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"ISIS Flying Captured Warplanes Over Aleppo Sky, reports says"} ,{"id":"1641303","sort":"3272251","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/10/17/alalam_635491708667544121_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Yemen’s Al- Qaeda Express Support for ISIS against "Crusade""} ,{"id":"1642009","sort":"3272252","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/10/20/alalam_635494136095973958_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Frontline Video of Kurdish Fighting against ISIS Terrorists"} ,{"id":"1642402","sort":"3272253","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/10/21/alalam_635495186208216030_25f_4x3.mp4","title":"ISIS Stones Syrian Girl to Death + Video"} ]"