UPDATE 1700 GMT: Iraqi Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani has said that the Iraqi Kurds have sent arms — but no troops — for the defense of Kobane.
Barzani said, after a meeting of Kurdistan’s two largest political parties:
We are not unaware of ISIS’s attacks on the Kobane region of Rojava [Syrian Kurdistan].
We have supported Kobane in terms of weapons and ammunition. Due to geographic restrictions, we are unable to send in the Peshmerga forces to Kobane.
The airstrikes conducted by the coalition forces are being jointly coordinated by the coalition and the Kurdistan administration.
The President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Massoud Barzani, is personally following the situation in Kobane and is constantly trying to do something.
UPDATE 1030 GMT: US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that he is prepared for the loss of Kobane to the Islamic State, as well as parts f Iraq, because the US lead a coalition in the defeat of the jihadists.
Kerry told the Voice of Aemerica, “There will be disappointments…as we are witnessing in Kobane, and in other places — in Anbar [western Iraq] and elsewhere — because it is just ramping up. It is just getting going.”
Kerry assured, “In the end, ISIL [the Islamic State] will recognize that the power of justice and law, and rule of law and civility is much more powerful than their hatred and their atrocities.”
The Secretary of State backed away from Washington’s blame of Turkey for the Islamic State’s advance in Kobane, including US criticism that Ankara did not send in ground troops:
Turkey is participating, and Turkey will be helping in certain ways. But, it is clear that different parties don’t want Turkey on the ground in Kobani, ranging from Kurds themselves to Iraqis to Syrians and so forth.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said on Saturday that the US making “considerable progress” in its negotiations with Turkey over a plan to train and equip “moderate” Syrian insurgents.
A senior U.S. official confirmed that Ankara has agreed to train the insurgents inside Turkey.
There was little firm news on Saturday on the state of the fight for the Kurdish center of Kobane in northern Syria, amid claims of street-to-street battles in the heart of the town.
Kurdish officials gave conflicting accounts of the defense against the Islamic State, which occupies about 40% of the town after taking the administrative quarter and main police station on Friday.
“We have a problem, which is the war between houses,” said Esmat al-Sheikh, head of the Kobani defence council. “The airstrikes are benefiting us, but Islamic State is bringing tanks and artillery from the east….Yesterday we saw T-57 tanks.”
However, lawyer Anwar Muslim, the head of the town council, insisted:
We are getting stronger. What we wanted from the beginning was to get rid of the heavy weapons so we can fight honestly. They tried everything to get inside [Kurdish-controlled areas], but for now they are still outside.
The US said it carried out six airstrikes near Kobane on Friday and Saturday.
Video: Aftermath of Regime Missile on Al-Waer Section of Homs
Damage in the al-Waer district of Homs after a regime missile:
The Syrian military has been bombarding the neighborhood, which has tens of thousands of civilians displaced from other parts of the country. The regime is trying to clear it of insurgents, who evacuated from other sections of Homs earlier this year.