Erdogan: Syrian Kurds seem to accept FSA in Kobani
Turkey's president said Friday that Syrian Kurdish militants have agreed to accept 1,300 Free Syrian Army troops in Kobani to help fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Anadolu Agency reported
However, President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Syrian Kurdish fighters -- who belong to the Democratic Union Party, or PYD -- could change their minds in the future.
He also said peshmerga forces, Kurdish fighters from Iraq, would be joining the fight to save Kobani, a Syrian town near the Turkish border.
"The PYD previously approved the passage of some 200 peshmerga forces," Erdogan said. "However, we later learned that the number agreed has changed and now it is only 150 peshmerga soldiers."
Erdogan made his remarks in a joint press conference with his Estonian counterpart, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, in Talinn, the Estonian capital.
"We meticulously said that our approach is very positive toward the FSA's fighting in Syria," Erdogan said. "We always said that our first preference in Syria is the FSA, and the second preference is peshmerga."
"Now they seemed to have accepted some 1,300 troops from the FSA," he said.
The FSA, the main opposition armed group battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, will send troops to the town to aid in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, according to a written statement by the group's operating unit in Aleppo.
The troops will be under the command of Colonel Abdul-Jabbar al-Aqidi. Details of the operations were not made public.
In the statement, the group called on international coalition forces and other armed groups in the region for assistance and cooperation in combating ISIL.
The battle for control of Kobani has been raging since mid-September when ISIL entered the town. An estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees, including some 190,000 from Kobani, are being sheltered in camps across Turkey.