Iraq Kurds to send up to 200 fighters to Syria next week

Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region will send next week up to 200 fighters from its peshmerga security forces to aid the embattled Syrian town of Kobani, a spokesman said Friday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Fri 24 Oct 2014, 7:15 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:42 AM

The town on the Turkish border has become a crucial battleground in the fight against the ISIS group, which overran large parts of Iraq in June and also holds significant territory in Syria.

Backed by air strikes from a US-led coalition, Kurdish militia have been defending Kobani against a fierce ISIS offensive for more than a month.

“The forces that will be sent are support forces and their number will not exceed 200 fighters,” Halgord Hekmat, spokesman for the ministry responsible for the peshmerga, told AFP.

“We are not able to specify the day but it will definitely be during the next week,” he added.

They will be armed with automatic weapons, mortars and rocket launchers, he said, declining to specify what route they would take.

They will likely pass through Turkey, which said this week it would allow peshmerga fighters to do so to relieve the town’s defenders.

The deployment stretches the bounds of regional autonomy and has been termed unconstitutional by some Iraqi MPs.

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