Turkey to Aid Kurds in Fight to Save Kobani

Turkey announced it would allow Kurdish forces from Iraq know as the peshmerga to cross over its border and into Syria to help battle against the Islamic State radical militant group. A battle has been taking place in the border town for over a month.

The foreign minister of Turkey announced this on Monday and the first Kurds were expected to cross over within 24 to 48 hours.

This decision represents a big shift by the government of Turkey, which has upset leaders of the Kurdish and frustrated the White House for many weeks refusing to allow weapons or fighters to cross the border to support other Kurds fighting to defend Kobani.

Speaking in Ankara during a news conference, the foreign minister of Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu said the government had decided to help the peshmerga reach Kobani.

This announcement as well as a decision by the U.S. to use aircraft to drop small arms and ammunition to resupply Kurds fighting in Kobani, reflected the increasing pressure internationally to push the IS militants back.

The militants recently lost some momentum after being close to taking the town at one point.

The battle is one of the most closely watched and considered a test for the White House policy of combining airstrikes with ground forces that are local to fight the radical group in both Syria and Iraq.

The effort by the U.S. has also received criticism including from the Turks for being ineffective and too selective in stopping the suffering of cities under bombardment from the government of Syria or those menaced by the militants.

The refusal by the Turks to allow the flow of military aid to Kobani defenders has also increased tensions in Turkey where Kurds have accused the Recep Tayyip Erdogan government of abandoning Kobani to militants from Islamic State.

Turkey was reluctant to empower the Kurds in Kobani who have been affiliated with the PKK or Kurdish Worker’s Party.

The PKK has been fighting a war of three decades against the government of Turkey although peace talks have been held recently.

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