Foreign-backed militants from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) have crossed from Turkey into the Syrian border city of Kobani to join Kurdish forces in their battle against ISIL Takfiri militants.
In an interview with the CNN, Colonel Abdul Jabbar al-Oqaidi, an FSA commander, said about 200 members of the group entered Kobani, known in Arabic as Ain al-Arab, early on Wednesday with munitions that comprised mortars and heavy machine guns.
“Today, 200 is enough,” he said. “But we can send more today if needed.”
However, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it believed just 50 Free Syrian Army militants have been deployed to Kobani.
The so-called Free Syrian Army comprises militants fighting against the Syrian government. They are enjoying the support of the US and its allies mainly Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
This is while the ISIL militants have emerged from the insurgents fighting the Syrian government forces since 2011. They have been also backed by the US and its allies.
Forces from Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), known as Peshmerga, have not yet crossed into Kobani after the first contingent departed Erbil by air overnight, and landed in Turkey’s southeastern city of Şanlıurfa in the early hours of Wednesday.
On October 22, the KRG decided to send Peshmerga fighters to Kobani, two days after Turkey announced that it would allow Iraqi Kurdish forces to cross into Syria to join fellow fighters defending Kobani against ISIL terrorists.
Kobani and its surroundings have been under attack since mid-September, with the ISIL militants capturing dozens of nearby Kurdish villages. More than 800 people have been killed on both sides during the battle for the city.
The ISIL advance in the region has forced tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds to flee their homes, mainly into Turkey, which is a stone’s throw from Kobani.