Peshmerga forces 'a partner in the ground': US
Jen Psaki speaks during a daily press briefing at the US State Department. AA PhotoWashington has welcomed the deployment of Peshmerga fighters in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane on Oct. 29 after a long period of negotiations between Turkey, the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq and the Democratic Union Party (PYD).
"We have advocated and been discussing the importance of allowing the peshmerga across the border and the facilitation of that," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a daily briefing in Washington on Oct. 28, describing the Kurdish fighters as a "partner on the ground."
The deployment of the 150 peshmerga fighters, who were authorized by the Iraqi Kurdish government to go to Kobane, underscores the sensitive political tensions in the region.
"We have worked closely with Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government authorities on a sustainable way forward to support forces in Kobani and over the long term to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL. So that certainly has been our role in this effort," Psaki said.
Kurdish officials revealed that peshmerga forces will bring heavy weapons by land, while some of the fighters will ve deploying to Kobane via Turkey. A Kurdish television channel showed footage of what it said was a convoy of peshmerga vehicles loaded with weapons en route to the area.
"This is one component. It's certainly one that we felt would be impactful and be important to have a partner on the ground to work with," Psaki said, adding she was unable to immediately confirm reports that the deployment had begun.
The U.S. is leading a coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has besieged Kobane for more than a month triggering a huge exodus from the town. The coalition that has carried out dozens of airstrikes targeting the militants in and around Kobane in the last weeks.