Turkey sends tanks to border as IS advances in Syria

29 September 2014 (Last Updated September 29th, 2014 18:30)

Turkey has deployed tanks and armoured vehicles to reinforce its border with Syria after Islamic State (IS) militants advanced on Syria's Kurdish-controlled town of Kobani.

Air strike

Turkey has deployed tanks and armoured vehicles to reinforce its border with Syria after Islamic State (IS) militants advanced on Syria's Kurdish-controlled town of Kobani.

Nearly 30 Turkish tanks and armoured vehicles, some with their guns pointed towards Syrian territory, were moved to a military base located north-west of Kobani, after two shells and a stray fire from IS landed on Turkish soil, Reuters reported.

Turkish interior minister Efkan Ala said: "We have taken the border under full control. We have ramped up our security measures in the Suruc region."

Also known as Ayn al-Arab, Kobani was besieged by IS from three sides last week, forcing more than 150,000 Kurds to flee into Turkey.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights founder Rami Abdulrahman said the IS fighters had advanced to within 5km of the town, and launched nearly 15 mortar rounds yesterday, killing at least one civilian.

The Turkish military reportedly fired back on 28 September after two mortar bombs crossed the border.

Having earlier refused to join a US-led anti-IS coalition, Turkey is set to submit motions to its parliament seeking approval to join the ongoing fight in Iraq and Syria against the terrorist group..

Turkish Parliamentary speaker Cemil Cicek was quoted by NTV television as saying: "The motions have not yet been sent to parliament. They may come tomorrow (Tuesday)."

"We have taken the border under full control."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "We will hold discussions with our relevant institutions this week.

"We will definitely be where we need to be. We cannot stay out of this."

According to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the motions are expected to be debated on 2 October.

Ankara has also indicated that Turkish soldiers could be used to help set up a secure zone in Syria, if an international agreement to establish such a haven for refugees fleeing IS is signed.

The US and its Arab allies are continuing air strikes against IS in Syria, with the latest raids targeting the towns of Dayr ar Zawr, Ar Raqqah and Aleppo, as well as an area adjacent to an IS-held grain storage facility near Manbij, and Koniko Gas Plant located near the town of Khasham.

The air strikes reportedly destroyed IS vehicles and training camps, and injured some militants.


Image: The US-led coalition bombed IS-held mills and grain silos in Manbej, Syria. Photo: courtesy of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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