posted at 07:50
Author Name: Fulya Ozerkan with Dan De Luce in Washington
Islamic State fighters attack crossing, Kurds to reinforce Kobane
The pre-dawn assault marked the fourth straight day that the jihadists had attacked the Syrian side of the border crossing as the Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters prepare to head for Kobane, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Kurdish forces, backed by US-led air strikes, have been holding out for weeks against an IS offensive around Kobane, which has become a high-profile symbol of efforts to stop the advance of the jihadists. More than 800 people have been killed in ground fighting for Kobane since the IS offensive on the Syrian Kurdish enclave began on September 16, the Observatory said. Last week, under heavy US pressure, Turkey unexpectedly announced that it would allow the peshmerga fighters to cross its territory to join the fight for Kobane. The peshmerga forces are "Ready to go", but they are not expected to deploy to Kobane before Monday at the earliest, Kurdish news agency Rudaw reported. The Democratic Union Party which dominates Kobane agreed to the offer of the peshmerga troops. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan charged in comments published on Sunday that the "Terror" group did not really want the peshmerga forces to deploy to Kobane for fear of seeing its influence diminished. A new US-led air strike hit IS fighters in Kobane as the coalition kept up its air support for the town's defenders, an AFP correspondent on the Turkish side of the border reported.

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