Despite the rift over the airdrops
, Turkey has agreed to let Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters to cross into Kobani via its territory to help in the defense of the town.
But the US military's announcement of the airdrops
, coupled with the Turkish foreign minister's statements, is an unexpected development.
On Monday, a commander in Kobani, Abu Hasan, said that "spirits and morale were high,'' after the airdrops
, which United States officials said included 27 bundles from Iraqi Kurdish authorities and contained medical supplies, ammunition and weapons.
It is the first time the US has made airdrops
to Kurdish fighters defending Kobane and it represents an escalation in Washington's efforts to support Syrian opposition forces against both IS jihadists and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
were conducted in support of Operation 'Inherent Resolve' which aims to "degrade and defeat the terrorist group ISIL and the threat they pose to the region and the wider international community," CENTCOM noted in the release.
Under an Air Force Research Laboratory contract, Lockheed Martin will adapt its commercial WindTracer technology to military use, enabling it to measure wind velocity and yield real-time data that can speed up airdrop
missions, company officials said.
comes after Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond announced "a continuing drumbeat of airdrop
operations" to help those trapped by the extremist group, which has announced the creation of a hardline caliphate in areas it has over-run.
We have been working urgently and directly with officials in Baghdad and Erbil to coordinate Iraqi airdrops
to people in need," a Defence official said.
Engineers will also modify the existing technology to measure wind velocity from the ground to the airdrop
altitude and add the ability to send real-time telemetry.
Finally, humanitarian airdrops
such as those in Bosnia have been impressive and sustained but do not count as resupply of US ground forces.
Though it has accounted for less than 1 percent of all airdrops
, JPADS has proved invaluable since its debut there in August 2006.
Ground units submit their requests for airdrops
to their respective task forces.