UPDATE 1315 GMT: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday that the Syrian Kurdish PYD has agreed to the passage of 1,300 Free Syrian Army fighters to Kobane.
However, the leader of the PYD, Salih Muslim, said that talks are continuing between the Kurdish militia YPG and Abdul Jabbar al-Aqidi, a top commander of the FSA.
“We already established connection with FSA but no such agreement has been reached yet as Mr. Erdoğan has mentioned,” Muslim asserted.
Footage from inside Kobane, posted today on YouTube:
About 200 Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga will soon pass through Turkey to help defend the Syrian Kurdish center of Kobane against the Islamic State, according to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Ankara — working with Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani and seeking to boost the Iraqi Kurdish presence versus the Syrian Kurdish political and military leadership in Kobane — agreed to the transit of the peshmerga earlier this week. The Iraqi Kurdish Parliament formally agreed the arrangement on Wednesday.
Erdoğan told reporters on Thursday, “They [the Iraqi Kurdish Parliament] have finally agreed on a number of 200.”
The arrangements were made during a week of talks, culminating on Sunday, among Kurdish factions in Dohuk in northern Iraq, and consultations between the Iraqi Kurds, Turkey, and the US.
Salih Muslim, the leader of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), has been cool about the agreement. He said that he would prefer Syrian Kurds, cut off from Kobane by Islamic State forces, to transit through Iraq and then Turkey to cross the Syrian border near the besieged town.
An aide to the Peshmerga Minister in Iraqi Kurdistan said talks are ongoing. He was more cautious than Erdoğan, saying discussions of timing and number of fighters were ongoing.
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