Erdogan: FSA to Help Kurds Defend Kobani
by VOA News October 24, 2014
Turkey's president says Syrian Kurds and Free Syrian Army fighters are joining forces to defend the city of Kobani from Islamic State militants.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Friday that Kurdish militia forces are finalizing how the Western-backed, moderate rebel group will get 1,300 troops to Syria's northern border with Turkey.
But a leader of a major Syrian Kurdish party has reportedly said there is no deal yet. Reuters reports that PYD co-chair Saleh Moslem said his group has been in contact with the FSA, but no such agreement has been reached.
Kurdish fighters are in the second month of battling to maintain control of Kobani, known also as Ayn al-Arab.
Ankara was drawn into anti-Islamic State efforts after the ultra-radical militant group launched an offensive only kilometers away from Turkey's frontier in September.
But Turkey has yet to act militarily, and has not joined the multi-front air raids against IS headed by the United States.
French officials say French airstrikes destroyed an Islamic State weapons arsenal in Iraq.
The United States, along with European and Arab partner countries, are conducting daily air raids in Iraq and Syria to help local ground forces push back IS militants.
On Thursday, the U.S. military said Iraq's military is still 'months' away from a major offensive to retake territory lost to the Islamic State group.
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