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Iraqi Kurds Join Syrian Kurds in Fight for Kobani

  • VOA News

An Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighter leaving the outskirts of Suruc, Turkey, towards the Turkey-Syria border, on the way to the Syrian city of Kobani, Oct. 31, 2014.

An Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighter leaving the outskirts of Suruc, Turkey, towards the Turkey-Syria border, on the way to the Syrian city of Kobani, Oct. 31, 2014.

A convoy of 150 Iraqi Kurdish fighters have crossed from Turkey into Syria to bolster Syrian Kurds defending the city of Kobani from Islamic State militants.

Kurdish civilians lined the road leading to the border crossing Friday, cheering the pershmerga fighters who responded with victory signs and holding rifles over their heads.

This is the first time Turkey has allowed an armed force to cross its border into Syria. The United States has been frustrated that Turkey, a fellow NATO member, has resisted joining the coalition action against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

Meanwhile, the United States is strongly condemning the apparent executions of 220 Sunni tribesmen in Iraq's Anbar province by Islamic State.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says the U.S. stands in solidarity with the Iraqi people against the militants' horrendous and senseless violence.

Islamic State reportedly seized the victims when they refused to cooperate with the militants.

The State Department is also reporting other Islamic State atrocities, including mass executions of Shi'ite prisoners and the discovery of a mass grave outside the city of Ramadi, west of Baghdad.

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