Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds join Kobane fight against Islamic State

OCTOBER 20, 2014

Turkey announced on Monday that it will allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to cross the Syrian border to fight Islamic State (IS) militants in Kobane.

Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, added that talks on the subject were continuing, but gave no further details.

Tens of thousands of people from Kobane have fled months of fighting between besieging IS forces and Syrian Kurd defenders.

Until now Turkey has refused to allow Kurdish fighters to cross into Syria.

The Turkish government says they are linked to the PKK, which has fought a decades-long campaign for greater autonomy in Turkey and is viewed by Ankara as a terrorist organisation.

But Turkey has come under pressure from its own Kurdish population, and its allies, to allow fighters into Kobane help push IS out of the town, which has become highly symbolic of the wider battle against IS.

Only hours before Cavusoglu's announcement, the United States said it had carried out air drops of weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to the Syrian Kurdish fighters around Kobane.