Suruc, Turkey – The Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian Kurdish group which controls Kobane, denied reports from Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan that it had agreed to allow the passage of 1,300 rebels from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to help secure the city of Kobane.
Saleh Muslim, the co-chair of the PYD, said the FSA would be more helpful if it opened a new front against the Islamic State militants elsewhere in Syria.
In Kobane, Kurdish fighters of the Popular Protection Units (backed by some Syrian rebel battalions) are defending the city against militants of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS).
Erdogan has long championed the FSA in the insurgency against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and has repeatedly advocated intervention of the FSA in Kobane.
The Turkish president has come under fire for refusing to send Turkey’s army across the border into Kobane to help the Kurdish forces there resist the IS extremists.
Western allies have been critical of what they see as a reticent response, and Turkish Kurds believe that Erdogan is unwilling to strengthen the Kurds who have sought autonomy in Turkey, Iraq and Syria.
Meanwhile, the Turkish government has agreed to allow Iraqi Kurdish forces of the Peshmerga to go through Turkey on their way to help fellow Kurds fighting in Kobane.
The fate of Kobane has become a credibility test of the international coalition’s response to the threat from IS militants.
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