The first group of Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters has entered the beseiged Syrian town of Kobane through the border crossing with Turkey, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said.
The British-based monitoring group said 10 fighters had moved in on Thursday and the others were expected to enter the town, which has been under attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) for more than a month, “within hours”.
A convoy of Peshmerga fighters arrived close to the Turkish town of Suruc on Wednesday night, meeting up with others who had flown in earlier in the day.
“Minutes ago, about 10 members of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces entered the town of Ayn al-Arab, ‘Kobani,’ through the border crossing between the town and Turkish territory,” the Observatory said.
Ayn al-Arab is the Arabic name for mainly Kurdish Kobane.
Syrian Kurdish officials have said around 150 Peshmerga were expected to aid their fellow Kurds in the besieged town.
The president of Iraqi Kurdistan, Masoud Barzani, said on Thursday that the region was prepared to deploy more forces to Kobane if asked.
Neither side has gained a decisive advantage in the fighting, which has forced almost 200,000 Syrian Kurds to flee into Turkey.
The town’s fate has become a test of the US-led coalition’s ability to combat the ISIL fighters.