U.S. arms Syria rebels & Kurds; Turkey opens border?


The U.S. military said it had air-dropped arms to Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants near Kobane on Oct. 19, in what appeared to be the Pentagon’s first public acknowledgment it has delivered lethal aid to the rebels.

The U.S. Central Command said it had delivered weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to the Syrian rebels, who for weeks have sought to stave off an onslaught by ISIL fighters that have overrun swathes of Syria and Iraq this year.

The airdrop of weapons will “help greatly” Kurdish fighters battling ISIL for Kobane, a spokesman for the Kurdish forces said Oct. 20.

Redur Xelil, a spokesman for the People’s Protection Units (YPG), confirmed the weapons delivery and said Kurdish fighters hoped to receive additional assistance.

“The military assistance dropped by American planes at dawn on Kobane was good and we thank America for this support,” he said.

“It will have a positive impact on military operations against Daesh and we hope for more,” he added, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

He declined to detail the weapons included in the delivery but said they would “help greatly” as Kurdish forces battle to keep ISIL jihadists from overrunning Kobane.

Xelil said there was “coordination” between US officials and YPG forces over the weapons delivery, without providing additional details.

ISIL jihadists currently control around half of Kobane, which is strategically located along a long stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border that is largely under the group’s control. hurriyetdailynews.com

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