A group of Kurdish fighters, supported by Turkish troops, are now battling Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants in northern Syria.
But this time they’re not just fighting against the terrorists but also for Kurdish autonomy, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Thursday.
Turkey’s state news agency Anadluz said on Thursday that Turkey’s military had launched a counteroffensive to retake Kobani in northern Iraq’s Diyarbakir province from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), a group that Turkey considers a terrorist group.
The move came as the Kurdish group held a press conference in Kobani to declare its intention to remain a part of the Turkish state and to end the three-year-old conflict between the PKK and the Turkish army.
“We have a united front against terrorism,” the statement read.
“Our fight is not against the Islamic State but against terrorism that has spread like an epidemic among the peoples of the world.”
The Kurdish fighters have been holding the town for weeks in the north of the country where they have been battling Islamic States militants for control of an area which is home to around 60,000 people.
The Kurdish fighters say they are also defending Kurdish territory in Syria, including Kobani.
The YPG says its fighters have launched an offensive in the Kurdish-majority area of Kobani and have already seized control of a nearby dam.