Iraqi Peshmerga Won’t Enter Kobani

Turkey: Syrian Kurds Don't Want Them There

The story surrounding 150-200 Peshmerga fighters from Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) heading to Syria remains unclear, with the latest reports saying that the Peshmerga will never actually enter Kobani or take any direct role in the fighting there.

Rather, the Peshmerga will be used to provide artillery support for the Kurdish fighters already in Kobani, who are trying to keep ISIS fighters from seizing the town and the border crossing into Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that the decision came from the Syrian Kurdish fighters affiliated with the PYD, claiming they don’t want the Peshmerga to replace them as the dominant faction there.

Erdogan went on to claim that the PYD were the reason the number of fighters has been reduced, and that the Peshmerga offered 500 troops, but the PYD would accept no more than 155, and only in a support role.

The reliability of Erdogan’s claims must be questioned, because his government is on extremely poor terms with the PYD, which is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey. Still, the disconnect between Syrian and Iraqi Kurds is a long-standing reality, and the explanation could be plausible.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of