Iraqi Kurdish forces enter Syria to fight Islamic StatePosted by Editorial Staff on October 30, 2014
A first group of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters entered the besieged Syrian town of Kobani on Thursday to help push back Islamic State militants who have defied U.S. air strikes and threatened to massacre its Kurdish defenders.
Kobani, on the border with Turkey, has been encircled by the Sunni Muslim insurgents for more than 40 days. Weeks of U.S.-led air strikes have failed to break their stranglehold, and Kurds are hoping the arrival of the peshmerga will turn the tide.
The siege of Kobani – known in Arabic as Ayn al-Arab – has become a test of the U.S.-led coalition’s ability to stop Islamic State’s advance, and Washington has welcomed the peshmerga’s deployment. It has intensified its air strikes in the past two days ahead of their arrival.
A first contingent of about 10 peshmerga fighters arrived in Kobani from Turkey, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Kurdish and Turkish officials said more were expected within hours.
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