Iran slams world 'passivity' over Kobane in Syria

Iran slams world 'passivity' over Kobane in Syria
Kurdish protestors clash with Turkish riot policemen in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir on October 7, 2014. Fresh air strikes by the US-led coalition hit positions held by Islamic State jihadists in the southwest of the key Syrian border town of Ain al-Arab (Kobane), according to an AFP journalist just across the border in Turkey. The strikes came a day after the extremists pushed into Kobane, seizing three districts in the city's east after fierce street battles with its Kurdish defenders.

TEHRAN - Iran criticised the "passivity of the international community" Tuesday regarding the besieged Syrian border town of Kobane and said the world should help President Bashar al-Assad confront "the terrorists".

The comments by foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkhan came shortly after Turkey's president said Kobane was on the verge of falling to jihadists fighting for the Islamic State (IS) group.

There is a "need to support the Syrian government's fight against the terrorists", she said, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Afkhan warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in Kobane and said Iran was sending aid to try to alleviate the "dire" situation for people there.

But her remarks underlined the gulf between Iran and the West over Syria - Tehran supports Assad, while the United States and other world powers have demanded regime change in Damascus.

In the face of the IS offensive in Kobane, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a ground operation there to help Kurdish forces defeat the militants.

But the situation is made more complicated by Erdogan's opposition to Assad's regime; Turkey has backed rebel groups fighting the Syrian leader and urged further training for those who oppose his rule.

"Months have passed but no results have been achieved. Kobane is about to fall," Erdogan told an audience mainly composed of Syrian refugees in the eastern city of Gaziantep on Tuesday.

"I am telling the West - dropping bombs from the air will not provide a solution," he added, drawing cheers from the crowds.

Turkey's parliament last week authorised the government to take military action against IS, but no plans to conduct operations have yet been announced.

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