Istanbul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A group of at least 150 Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga have come to Turkey to fight the militants of the Islamic State besieging the city of Kobane on the Turkish-Syrian border.
fighters landed at the airport of
Sanliurfa. Another contingent
arrived at the border post of Habur, heading towards
the border with 40 trucks loaded
with heavy weapons. The group
was welcomed by thousands of Turkish Kurds, waving Kurdish
The peshmerga were expected more than a week ago to the aid the Syrian Kurdish population, under siege for over a month from the IS.
Ankara only gave permission for their arrival a week ago, under pressure from the United States and forbidding Turkish Kurds to go and fight in Syria. Turkey fears that collaboration between the various Kurdish groups could help the PKK, the Workers' Party, which is fighting for independence in Turkey and is considered a terrorist organization. But most of all, Ankara fears that the common Kurdish cause may give rise to a Kurdish state, disintegrating Turkey (as well as Syria, Iraq and even Iran, where there are populations of ethnic Kurds).
In an interview published yesterday by the BBC, the Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu sought to downplay criticism of his country, that it favors the IS, while being part of the US-led coalition battling against it. He explained that he would prefer that Kobane to be taken and governed by the Syrian forces of moderate opposition and not by the Kurds.
Meanwhile, in Syria, the moderate opposition forces have long been at war with Islamist groups in opposition to Assad. Several villages in the province of Idlib, until now in the hands of the Syrian Revolutionary Front, were conquered yesterday by the Al Nusra Front, the local branch of Al Qaeda. According to some witnesses, the Al Nusra Front was aided in clashes by IS fighters.