Kurdish fighters in Kobani thank US for weapons airdrop | News | DW | 20.10.2014

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Kurdish fighters in Kobani thank US for weapons airdrop

Kurdish fighters in the Syrian city of Kobani are "hoping for more support" following a US weapons airdrop. In Kobani, forces continue to battle to keep the "Islamic State" from gaining control of the city.

On Monday, Redur Xelil, a spokesman for the People's Protection Units, thanked the United States for Sunday's airdrop of munitions to the Syrian city of Kobani, where Kurdish fighters have engaged the "Islamic State" (IS) in the heaviest fighting seen in days.

Kurdish forces have battled IS for control of Kobani for the past month. The group currently controls about half of the city and is seeking to capture the town to consolidate a 60-mile (95-kilometer) stretch of land it controls along the border with Turkey.

Speaking on Monday, Xelil said the American airdrop would "greatly help" Kurdish fighters. "The military assistance dropped by American planes at dawn on Kobani was good, and we thank America for this support," he said.

"It will have a positive impact on military operations against Daesh," Xelil said, using the Arabic acronym for IS. In a separate interview with the news agency Reuters, Xelil said that the Kurdish fighters were now "hoping for more support."

'Continued resistance'

The US military's Central Command announced the airdrop on Sunday, with C-130 cargo planes flying multiple resupply missions over besieged Kobani.

The weapons were provided by Kurds from neighboring Iraq "to enable continued resistance against ISIL's attempts to overtake Kobani," according to Central Command, which uses one of several alternative acronyms for the "Islamic State."

Sunday's airdrops were the first officially acknowledged instances of direct US weapons support for Kurds in Syria. Until Sunday, the United States had been supporting Kobani's defenders primarily with airstrikes and intelligence.

In Luxembourg on Monday, EU foreign ministers are also meeting to discuss the threat of IS.

ksb/mkg (Reuters, AFP)

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