posted at 20:00
Author Name: Fulya Ozerkan with Mohamad Ali Harissi in Beirut
Syria Kurds weather IS assault and await reinforcements
IS jihadists in east Kobane were exchanging fire with Kurdish militia in the west and there were reports of an explosion, probably a car bomb, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said. A total of 30 jihadists and 11 Kurdish fighters were killed in 24 hours, the Britain-based Observatory said late Tuesday, adding that IS was bringing in reinforcements "As a result of the daily losses in Kobane". Against a backdrop of continued fighting, there has been feverish diplomatic efforts with Turkey announcing Monday that it would help Kurdish forces from Iraq to relieve Kobane's beleaguered defenders, in a major shift of policy that was swiftly welcomed by Washington. Iraqi Kurdish officials have said they will provide the training, although any forces sent will be Syrian Kurds. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed Kurdish fighters had yet to cross from Turkey to Kobane, explaining that "The issue is still being discussed". Three C-130 cargo aircraft carried out what the US military called successful drops of supplies early on Monday, including arms provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq. Despite the Kobane operation, US commanders said the top priority remains Iraq, where IS swept through much of the Sunni Arab heartland north and west of Baghdad in June, with both government and Kurdish forces under pressure. According to a senior Iraqi Kurdish official, Iran has deployed troops on the Iraqi side of the border in the Khanaqin area northeast of Baghdad. Iranian forces also played a role in breaking the siege of Amerli, another senior Kurdish official said.

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