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US arms drop will “help greatly,” argue Syria Kurd fighters

THE LEVANT – A US airdrop of weapons will “help greatly” Kurdish fighters battling Islamic State jihadists for the Syrian town of Kobane, a spokesman for the Kurdish forces said Monday.

Redur Xelil, a spokesman for the People’s Protection Units (YPG), confirmed the weapons delivery and said Kurdish fighters hoped to receive additional assistance.

“The military assistance dropped by American planes at dawn on Kobane was good and we thank America for this support,” he said.

“It will have a positive impact on military operations against Daesh and we hope for more,” he added, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

He declined to detail the weapons included in the delivery but said they would “help greatly” as Kurdish forces battle to keep IS jihadists from overrunning Kobane, also known as Ain al-Arab.

Xelil said there was “coordination” between US officials and YPG forces over the weapons delivery, without providing additional details.

IS jihadists currently control around half of Kobane, which is strategically located along a long stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border that is largely under the group’s control.

US Central Command announced the weapons delivery on Sunday, saying it carried out “multiple” successful airdrops of supplies, including small arms, provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq.

The weapons were dropped by air as neighbouring Turkey has repeatedly refused to countenance delivering arms to the Kurdish fighters.

The YPG is the armed wing of Syria’s leading Kurdish movement, the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

Ankara accuses the PYD of being a branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a bloody 30-year insurgency for self-rule in southeastern Turkey.

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