Erdogan says sending peshmerga to Kobani own offer
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday he "personally made the offer" of sending peshmerga forces to help fighters battling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or the ISIL in Syria Anadolu Agency reported
The peshmerga are the armed forces of northern Iraq's Kurdish regional government.
Addressing a press conference before leaving for an official visit to Latvia, Erdogan also said Turkey did not approve of delivering foreign arms to outlawed militant groups.
He was referring to the Democratic Union Party, or the PYD, which is considered the Syrian affiliate of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which is listed by Turkey as well as by the U.S. a terrorist organization.
Recently, the U.S. made airdrops loaded with weapons in the besieged Syrian town of Kobani to aid the PYD-led group of Kurdish fighters that are battling the ISIL militants there since mid-September.
"I have already said the aid you deliver to the PYD and the PKK is unacceptable as far as we are concerned," the Turkish president said.
"I am finding it difficult to understand why Kobani is so important for them. There are no civilians left in Kobani. Some 200,000 have fled into our territories and we are accommodating them. Furthermore, the PYD did not accept the passage of peshmerga at first, only now have they partially agreed to it," he added.
Erdogan said the decision to make the airdrops was "wrong" because some of the weapons had reportedly come under the control of the ISIL. "They have been showing those weapon caches on their websites for days now," he said.
Time and again, the president has said the PYD is no different from the PKK. The decades-old conflict with the PKK has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had announced Turkey would help Iraqi Kurdish forces access Kobani a day after the U.S. carried out the airdrops in the Syrian town.
The airdrop was made after U.S. officials had notified their Turkish counterparts in advance.
The PYD is the only Syrian Kurdish Party that is not under the umbrella of the Kurdish National Coalition, or Kurdnas, formed through the efforts of Kurdish Regional Government President Massoud Barzani.
An estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees, including around 200,000 from Kobani, are at refugee camps across Turkey.
Earlier in October, Turkey's leftist People's Democratic Party, or HDP, had called on the people to take to the streets over the Turkish government's alleged failure to support fighters in the Kurdish-majority town of Kobani.
The resulting protests had left at least 38 people dead across Turkey.