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Peshmerga depart from Turkey to besieged Kobani

A convoy of Kurdish Peshmerga troops departed from Turkey in a convoy overnight to help bolster Syrian Kurds holding out against self-styled Islamic State militants in the besieged town of Kobani.

Islamic State combatants have been trying to capture Kobani, known as Ayn al-Arab in Arabic, for over a month, pressing their assault despite U.S.-led air strikes on their positions and the deaths of hundreds of their fighters.

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John Kerry hints protecting Kobani is not priority

John Kerry has suggested preventing the fall of the Syrian border town Kobani is not a strategic US objective.

Islamic State appeared close to taking Kobani, with militants raising the group's flag over eastern parts of the town on Monday.

Although US-led air strikes have helped halt the group's advance, intense clashes between Kurdish troops and IS fighters continue.

John Kerry (R) addressing the media alongside Philip Hammond in Washington. Credit: Reuters

Mr Kerry said while the US was "deeply concerned for the people of Kobani" and had conducted more strikes in the region as a result, it had to focus on the bigger strategic objectives.

"As horrific as it is to watch in real time what is happening in Kobani ... you have to step back and understand the strategic objective," the Secretary of State told reporters alongside UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

Kerry added: "Notwithstanding the crisis in Kobani, the original targets of our efforts have been the command and control centers, the infrastructure.

"We are trying to deprive the (Islamic State) of the overall ability to wage this, not just in Kobani but throughout Syria and into Iraq."

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