Syria says giving military support to Kurds in Kobane

Smoke from an airstrike by the US-led coalition drifts in the Syrian town of Kobane, as seen from the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern Turkish village of Mursitpinar, on October 13, 2014 (AFP Photo/Aris Messinis)

Damascus (AFP) - Syria's armed forces, including its aircraft, have been providing military support to Kurdish fighters defending the town of Kobane besieged by jihadists, the information minister said.

"The state with its military forces and planes has been providing military and logistical support, and has supplied ammunition and arms to the town," said Omran al-Zohbi, in comments published in the Syrian press on Wednesday.

Although it is not part of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, Damascus "will continue to give military aid to Kobane at the highest level", he said.

"From the outset of the battle, the state has not hesitated to play its military, political, social and humanitarian role" because the town is "Syrian territory and its residents are Syrians", said Zohbi.

Syrian Kurdish forces in Kobane on the border with Turkey have been holding out against the IS, which controls swathes of territory in northern and eastern Syria and neighbouring Iraq, with the backing of US-led air strikes.

Fierce clashes since September 16 have left more than 700 dead, according to monitors, and sent over 300,000 people into flight across the border in Turkey.