Turkey opens border to let more Kurds join the fight against ISIS, as US planes pummel jihadist positions in Kobane and airdrop weapons and medical supplies Kurds in Turkey will be able to help resistance in besieged border town Move came on another day of intense U.S. airstrikes on ISIS militants  U.S. also dropped weapons and medical supplies to valiant Kurds    Move raises questions over whether airdrop timed to arm new arrivals

View
comments

Turkey announced today it will finally open its border to allow hundreds of Kurdish fighters into Kobane as the frontier town was pummeled in another round of U.S. airstrikes.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declared the besieged Syrian settlement was at a crisis moment, with huge numbers of ISIS militants flooding into the line of Western fire.

The intensified round of explosions filled the skies above Kobane with thick, black smoke as warplanes flew overhead and tracer rounds could be seen firing from the surrounding hills.

Scroll down for video 

In their sights: Tracer rounds light the sky over Kobane tonight as forces attack their next target. The U.S. also sent medical supplies and weapons to the Kurds as hundreds more were due to join the fight from Turkey

Destruction: Moments later an explosion ripped through the neighbourhood in a continued round of assaults

Fighting: A U.S. bombing raid sends flames and smoke into the air in the besieged Syrian border town of Kobane tonight. The renewed airstrikes came as Turkey opened its borders to let more Kurds join the fight

Blast: Smoke rises from the same area after the blast, one of hundreds of U.S. airstrikes in the conflict

Hit: A densely-packed area of Kobane is hit by a huge explosion as the battle for the frontier continued

Under attack: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said today Kobane was at a crisis moment as ISIS floods in

Surveying the destruction: Kurds watch the smoke rising over Kobane at sunset tonight from Turkish territory

It came as the American military delivered a fresh round of weapons and medical supplies to valiant Kurdish peshmerga troops who have been fighting in Kobane.

During the evening of sustained airstrikes on ISIS targets, C-130 cargo planes made multiple drops of arms and medical equipment.

Mr Kerry said the decision to carry out the airdrops was made because  it would be irresponsible and morally very difficult not to support the Kurdish fighters. 

The move, on the same day as Turkeys opening of its borders, raised the question of whether the weapon drops were strategically timed to arm the new influx of soldiers.

In a statement released last night, US Central Command said C-130 cargo planes made drops of arms and medical supplies which had been provided by Kurdish authorities in neighbouring Iraq.

More than 200,000 people have fled Kobane (pictured today) into Turkey; now some will be allowed back

Huge numbers of ISIS militants are believed to be sweeping into the city in a bid to seize control from the Kurds

As the explosions (pictured) rippled through Kobane, the Kurdish fighters were armed with new U.S. drops

Mr Kerry said: ISIL is presenting itself in major numbers in this place called Kobane

The battle for the border town of Kobane continued today
 

The airdrops were intended to support continued resistance to ISIS as the Islamist extremist group attempts to gain control of Kobane.

Speaking in Indonesia today, Mr Kerry told reporters that the administration understood ally Turkeys concerns about supplying the Kurds, who are linked to a Kurdish group that Ankara fiercely opposes.

But he said the situation is such in the besieged town of Kobane that the resupplies were deemed absolutely necessary in a crisis moment.

Let me say very respectfully to our allies the Turks that we understand fully the fundamentals of their opposition and ours to any kind of terrorist group and particularly obviously the challenges they face with respect to the PKK, Mr Kerry said.

But we have undertaken a coalition effort to degrade and destroy ISIL and ISIL is presenting itself in major numbers in this place called Kobane, he added using an alternative acronym for the terrorists.

Besieged: A huge cloud of smoke is seen rising from a building in Kobane, which is currently being defended by Kurdish forces against the incursion of ISIS fighters

Fighting: Black smoke is seen rising from an ISIS-held building inside Kobane this afternoon

Conflict: The airdrops were intended to support continued resistance to ISIS as the Islamist extremist group attempts to gain control of Kobane

Going nowhere: Turkish tanks take up positions on a hill overlooking the Syria-Turkey border during armed clashes between YPG Kurdish fighters and Islamic State millitants in nearby Kobane

A Turkish forces soldier rides on top of an armored vehicle as he patrols the Turkish-Syrian border today

Turkish military vehicles patrol the Turkish-Syrian border this afternoon as fighting continues to rage in Kobane

Turkeys foreign minister said his country is now helping Iraqi Kurdish forces cross into the Syrian border town of Kobane to give support to fellow Kurdish fighters there.

But Mevlüt Cavusoglu did not elaborate, and it was not immediately clear whether Turkey was actually allowing Kurdish fighters across the border into Syria yet after blocking them for so long.

Iraqs Kurdish Regional Government announced that they are in cooperation with Turkey and the U.S., Mr Cavusoglu said. 

Actually, we are helping peshmerga forces to enter into Kobane to give support. Turkey has no wish see Kobane fall.

Hit: In a written statement, U.S. Central Command said its forces have conducted more than 135 airstrikes against ISIS in Kobane

Calm: Syrian Kurdish fighters are seen walking in northern Kobane this afternoon. The photograph was taken from across the border in Turkey

Hostile: One of the administration officials said the airdrops should be seen as a humanitarian move, saying US officials believe that if Kobane were to fall, ISIS militants would massacre Kurds in the town

Comments: Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the airport in Jakarta for the inauguration of President of Indonesia Joko Widodo

Loaded: The US military successfully completed its first series of airdrops to Kurdish military forces in Syria

Flight: An American warplane flies over Kobane just an hour after C-130 cargo aircraft dropped weapons

The unexpected development suggests Turkey may be softening its stance on the issue of helping the Syrian Kurds. 

It also raises the question of whether the American airdrops were coordinated to help arm what may turn out to be hundreds of additional Kurdish fighters flocking to help defeat ISIS in Kobane.

Barack Obama called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday to discuss the situation in Syria and notify him of the plan to make airdrops, one U.S. administration official told reporters.

He would not describe Erdogans reaction but said U.S. officials are clear about Turkeys opposition to any moves that help Kurdish forces, whom Turkey views as an enemy.

Spectators: Syrian Kurdish refugees living in Turkey use binoculars to watch the ongoing fighting in their hometown Kobane (pictured here and in the two images below)

Witness: Young Kurdish girls in Turkey watch the fighting continue to rage over the border in Kobane, Syria

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the large amount of weapons and ammunition airdropped by U.S. planes has reached the main Kurdish militia in Kobani.

The Kurdish fighters in Kobane have been picking up and moving the weapons since they were airdropped around dawn, said the Observatory, which has a network of activists on the ground.

In recent days, much of the coalition strikes have focused around Kobane, which Islamic State group militants have been trying to seize since mid-September. 

Turkey has so far provided sanctuary to an estimated 200,000 Syrians fleeing from Kobane and dozens of nearby villages that were captured by the IS group.

Syrian refugees now living in Turkey watch the ongoing fighting over the border in their hometown Kobane

A Kurdish family watches the Syrian town of Kobane from a hill near the Mursitpinar border crossing in Turkey

 

A group of Kurdish men living in Turkey huddle together as they watch the fighting rage in Kobane

Syrian refugee children, one flashing the V-sign, peer through the window of a school building that has been serving as a refugee center in the Turkish border town of Suruc, Turkey

MYSTERY OF AMERICAN JOURNALIST KILLED IN CAR CRASH IN TURKEY... JUST DAYS AFTER CLAIMING INTELLIGENCE SERVICES HAD THREATENED HER OVER COVERAGE OF THE SIEGE OF KOBANE 

An American journalist has been killed in a car crash in Turkey just days after claiming she claimed the Turkish intelligence services had threatened her over her reporting of the siege of Kobane.

Serena Shim, who worked for Irans state-owned Press TV as Turkey correspondent, died in the city of Suruc after the car in which she was travelling reportedly collided with a heavy vehicle. 

Shims death came just days after she spoke on camera of her fears of being arrested, claiming Turkish intelligence agents had accused her of spying after one of her reports suggested ISIS militants were being smuggled back and forth over the Syrian border in the back of aid vehicles.

Tragic: Serena Shim, who worked for Irans state-owned Press TV as Turkey correspondent, died in the city of Suruc after the car in which she was travelling reportedly collided with a heavy vehicle

PressTV correspondent Serena Shim denied being a spy
 

Shim, an American citizen of Lebanese origin, had been working in Turkey for Press TV - the Iranian state-owned television network. 

In a report published on the companys website, it is claimed she had been in a rental car on the way back to her hotel in the town of Suruc in Urfa Province when the suspicious accident took place. 

Neither the heavy vehicle nor the driver involved in the crash have been located after the incident, Press TV claimed, adding that her parents refused to believe the crash had been an accident and are planning to pursue the matter legally.

Press TVs account of the crash has been somewhat disputed by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News, however, who said the vehicle involved was a cement mixer and that the as-yet-unidentified driver had been arrested at the scene.  

Death: Serena Shims death came just days after she spoke on camera of her fears of being arrested, claiming Turkish intelligence agents had accused her of spying

Only last Friday Shim was interviewed on camera by Press TV about her fears of being arrested by Turkish intelligence agencies.

In the short interview she alleged that she had been approached and accused of spying after a report in which he said she claimed to have received images of Islamic State terrorists being smuggled over the Turkey-Syria in vehicles belonging to the World Food Organization and other aid groups.

Shim described herself as surprised at the accusation, because I have nothing to hide and I have never done anything aside my job