Turkey has agreed to let Iraqi Kurds enter Syria to battle Islamic State miliants in Kobani, in a striking shift in position.
Until now Ankara has been reluctant to allow Kurdish fighters across the border, fearful of the repercussions among its own community of Kurds.
It comes just hours after the US air dropped weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to Syrian Kurdish fighters in the besieged city, despite the Turkish President’s opposition to the move on Sunday.
“The Iraqi regional administration stated that they are in cooperation with Turkey and the US to help Kobani. In fact, we are helping Peshmerga forces to cross into Kobani with the aim of helping…And our negotiations on this issue are ongoing,” announced Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Monday.
Fighting in and around Kobani has been raging for weeks. Around 3-4,000 Kurdish fighters are on the ground fighting Islamic State militants for control of the key town on the Turkish border. Bolstered by airstrikes they have managed to regain terrain.
However, US military Central Command said that the situation remains fragile as ISIL forces continue to threaten the city.