Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | us | drops | kurds | supplies | kobani

US Drops Weapons, Ammunition to Kurds in Besieged Kobani

Monday, 20 Oct 2014 06:03 AM

The U.S. military dropped weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to Kurdish forces defending the Syrian town of Kobani, which has been besieged by fighters from the Islamic State.

It was the first such supply mission by the U.S. Air Force to the town on the border of Turkey and was intended to help the Kurds resist being overrun by Islamic State, according to the U.S. Central Command. The supplies came from Kurdish authorities in Iraq, the military said.

The mission, which dropped 27 bundles, was preceded by airstrikes in the area and officials said the supply aircraft didn’t come under attack. The three U.S. C-130 began the operation about 4:30 p.m. yesterday Washington time and it was finished by 8 p.m.

Kobani’s capture by Islamic State would extend the militants’ grip over a stretch of the border between Syria and Turkey. The U.S. and its coalition partners are counting on a successful defense undermining support for a group whose sweeping military victories have been key to its appeal.

“No doubt, the American aid is positive even though it came late,” Faysal Sariyildiz, a Kurdish lawmaker in the Turkish parliament, said by phone today. “We don’t know what kind of small arms those supplies included, but these gangs are still attacking with heavy weapons, so there is still a need for similar weapons to be able to defeat them.”

Fragile Situation

An administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity said last night that Islamic State has surged forces to the area, providing more targets for the air campaign.

Central Command said the “security situation in Kobani remains fragile.” It said its planes have conducted more than 135 airstrikes against Islamic State forces in Kobani.

President Barack Obama informed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the plan during a telephone call on Oct. 18, the official said.

Turkey has resisted arming the Kurds in Kobani, who are largely members of the YPG, an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, the separatist group long viewed as Turkey’s top security threat. Kurds blame Turkey for failing to come to their aid as they cling on to the city. The U.S., Turkey and the European Union classify the PKK as a terrorist organization.

U.S. forces have conducted more than 135 airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Kobani, according to Central Command. The administration official said the attacks have slowed the militants’ advance.


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The U.S. military dropped weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to Kurdish forces defending the Syrian town of Kobani, which has been besieged by fighters from the Islamic State. It was the first such supply mission by the U.S. Air Force to the town on the border of...
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2014-03-20
Monday, 20 Oct 2014 06:03 AM
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