United States delivers weapons to Kurds in Syria

WASHINGTON -- The United States has announced it had air-dropped arms to rebels battling the Islamic State in the northern Syrian town of Kobani near the border with Turkey.

(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)

This is the first public admission that the Unites States is supplying the rebels with arms.

"The U.S. Central Command said it had delivered weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to the Kurds who are trying to stave off an onslaught by Islamic State fighters who have overrun swathes of Syria and Iraq this year," Reuters reported.

A brief statement of the U.S. Central Command said "U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft delivered weapons, ammunition and medical supplies that were provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq and intended to enable continued resistance against ISIL's attempts to overtake Kobani."

The same statement said that "air strikes near Kobani in recent days, combined with continued resistance against Islamic State on the ground, had slowed the group's advances into the town and killed hundreds of its fighters," but that "the security situation in Kobani remains fragile as ISIL continues to threaten the city and Kurdish forces continue to resist."

A spokesman for the Kurdish forces took to Twitter to confirm that "a large quantity of ammunition and arms" had reached the town.

Reuters quoted U.S. officials as describing the weapons delivered as "small arms" and "giving no details."