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Turkey will try to stop ISIS taking Kurdish border town: PM - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Turkish soldiers guard the Turkey-Syria border as Syrians from Kobani wait behind barbed wire to enter Turkey at the Yumurtalık crossing on October 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Turkish soldiers guard the Turkey-Syria border as Syrians from Kobani wait behind barbed wire to enter Turkey at the Yumurtalık crossing on October 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Istanbul, Reuters—Turkey will do whatever it can to prevent the predominantly Kurdish town of Kobani, near its border with Syria, falling to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) insurgents, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said late on Thursday.

Just hours before Davutoğlu’s comment, parliament gave the government powers to order cross-border military incursions against ISIS, and to allow foreign coalition forces to launch similar operations from Turkish territory.

“We wouldn’t want Kobani to fall. We’ll do whatever we can to prevent this from happening,” Davutoğlu said in a discussion with journalists broadcast on the A Haber television station.

“No other country has the capacity to affect the developments in Syria and Iraq. No other country will be affected like us either,” he said.

ISIS fighters advanced to within a few miles of the center of Kobani on three sides on Thursday, having taken control of hundreds of villages around the town in recent weeks, and sending more than 150,000 Syrian Kurds fleeing to Turkey.

Their advance to within clear sight of Turkish military positions on the border has piled pressure on the NATO member to take a more robust position against the Islamist insurgents.

But Ankara remains hesitant, fearing military intervention could deepen the insecurity on its border by strengthening Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and bolstering Kurdish fighters linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state.

Jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan said on Wednesday that peace talks between his group and the Turkish state will come to an end if ISIS militants are allowed to carry out a massacre in Kobani.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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