Thursday, October 9, 2014 8:36 pm
Iran has begun talks with Turkey aimed at convincing it to prevent Islamic State group jihadists from taking the key Syrian border town of Kobane, an official said on Thursday.
“Iran will take any action to help the Kurdish (people) of Kobane in the framework of the support that it provides to the Syrian government to combat terrorism,” Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdollahian said, quoted by the offical IRNA news agency.
Abdollahian said Tehran was in talks with Turkey, adding that Ankara can “play the most important role to help Syrian refugees go back home.”
IS jihadists seized a third of Kobane on Thursday in fighting that killed dozens as calls grew for ground action to support Kobane’s beleaguered Kurdish defenders.
But Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday after meeting the head of NATO that it was “not realistic” to expect Ankara to “lead a ground operation on its own”.
Turkey is under pressure over its inaction, and protests in Kurdish areas of Turkey have sparked clashes that claimed at least 23 lives and forced authorities to impose a curfew in six provinces.
The world’s largest stateless people, Kurds are spread across Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. Kurdish militants have waged a deadly insurgency for three decades for self-rule in Turkey.