Turkey aiding peshmerga fighters to enter Kobane

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:24 pm IST

Published - October 21, 2014 12:04 am IST - SURUC (TURKEY)

In a significant shift, Turkey’s top diplomat announced on Monday that his country is helping Iraqi Kurdish fighters cross into Syria to “give support” to fellow Kurds defending the border town of Kobane from Islamic State militants.

The remarks by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, at a press conference in Ankara, followed the announcement by the U.S. military that it had for the first time airdropped weapons.

Ankara views the main Kurdish group in Syria as an extension of the Turkish Kurd group known as the PKK, which has waged a 30-year insurgency in Turkey and is designated a terror group by the U.S. and by NATO.

But the U.S. military’s announcement of the airdrops suggests Turkey may be softening its stance on the issue of helping the Syrian Kurds.

However, though a significant departure from previous positions, it is not a complete change of policy since allowing Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces to cross into Syria is different from allowing Turkish PKK forces into Kobane.

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