Iraqi peshmerga fighters arrived in southeastern Turkey early on Wednesday ahead of their planned deployment to the Syrian town of Kobani to help fellow Kurds repel an Islamic State advance which has defied U.S.-led air strikes.
A Turkish Airlines plane touched down in the southeastern city of Sanliurfa at around 1:15 a.m. (2315 GMT) amid tight security, a Reuters correspondent said. A convoy of white buses escorted by armored jeeps and police cars left the airport shortly afterwards.
Kobani, nestled on the border with Turkey, has been besieged by Islamic State militants for more than a month and its fate has become an important test of the U.S.-led coalition's ability to combat the Sunni insurgents.
"They will be in our town today," Adham Basho, a member of the Syrian Kurdish National Council from Kobani, said of the peshmerga, confirming that a group of between 90 and 100 fighters had arrived in Sanliurfa overnight.
Islamic State has caused international alarm by capturing large expanses of Iraq and Syria, declaring an Islamic "caliphate" erasing borders between the two and slaughtering or driving away Shi'ite Muslims, Christians and other communities who do not share their ultra-radical brand of Sunni Islam.
Weeks of U.S.-led air strikes on the insurgents' positions around Kobani and the deaths of hundreds of their fighters have failed to break the siege on the town.
29 October 2014
When the Turks are letting the Kurds use their territory to get to ISIS to carry on the fight, you've got someone out there that no one likes.
Posted by Brant at 10:03
20 October 2014
19 October 2014
North and South Korea exchanged gunfire on Sunday when the North's soldiers approached the military border and did not retreat after the South fired warning shots, the South Korean Defence Ministry said.
The North's soldiers fired back in an exchange of gunfire that lasted about 10 minutes but the situation did not escalate, a ministry official said.
"There were no casualties or property damage," the official said.
The incident was the latest in a series of confrontations in recent weeks between the rival Koreas, that remain technically at war, and follows an urgent meeting between senior military officials on Wednesday to discuss how to ease tensions.
The North's soldiers on Saturday approached the so-called Military Demarcation Line that separates the countries but retreated after the South fired warning shots, the official added.
Posted by Brant at 13:21
10 October 2014
South Korea started by launching balloons, the Norks retaliated with artillery, so the Southies did, too.
The incident came as South Korean activists launched balloons containing leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Pyongyang had warned of "catastrophic" consequences if Seoul allowed the activists to go ahead.
The two sides exchange periodic fire across their disputed maritime border but incidents on land are rare.
Yonhap, citing military officials, said the North fired towards the balloons and South Korea responded after some shots landed south of the border.
There was no immediate information on whether there were any casualties.
The clash came as North Korea marked the 69th anniversary of its ruling party.
Mr Kim, who has not been seen in public for more than a month, did not attend, according to a list provided by state media.
Posted by Brant at 11:30