October 29, 2014
By Brent Eng and Osama Abu Zeid
AMMAN: An unconfirmed number of FSA fighters reportedly crossed into Syria from Turkey Wednesday to bolster the mostly Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State (IS) for Kobani, said the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
While FSA fighters have battled alongside Kurdish forces in Kobani since the outset of the fighting, this is the first large group of reinforcements the FSA has sent to Kobani.
Reports vary, placing the number of FSA rebels between 50 to 200.
Meanwhile, a convoy of 150 Iraqi Peshmerga fighters in 80 vehicles sent from Kurdistan were en route to Kobani through Turkey on Wednesday, reported Turkish news agency Hurriyet Daily News.
Iraqi Peshmerga in Turkey en route to Kobani on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of @aawsat_News.
In an unsurprising twist in a war already witnessing a constant re-alignment of allies and enemies, the Syrian government welcomed the idea of the Peshmerga fighting IS in Kobani.
“We see the sending of Peshmerga to Kobani [as] positive,” Ali Haidar, the Syrian National Conciliation Minister, told Kurdish news agency Rudaw Tuesday.
Damascus welcomes “any act that will lead to the destruction of the Islamic State,” Haidar added.
Kurdish forces and IS fought around the Cultural Center in southwest Kobani Tuesday night, amidst a series of American-led coalition airstrikes against IS, reported SOHR.
“IS controls the southeast area of Kobani, where they’ve been for the past 15 days,” Mustafa al-Abdi, a Kurdish journalist in Kobani, told Syria Direct Tuesday. “Kurdish forces control the southwest, and a collection of FSA-affiliated groups dominate the west.”
In addition, IS has been pushing to gain access to the north city gates where the Peshmerga are supposed to arrive from Turkey.
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