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October 20th, 2014
05:53 AM ET

U.S. Airdrops Weapons to Fighters in Kobani

The U.S. military has airdropped weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to Kurdish fighters in the Syrian city of Kobani to beef up the defense against ISIS forces, the Pentagon said.

"The aircraft delivered (items) that were provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq and intended to enable continued resistance against ISIL's attempts to overtake Kobani," the U.S. Central Command said Sunday.

(The administration refers to the group as ISIL, the acronym for "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant." CNN refers to it as ISIS; the group recently started calling itself the Islamic State.)

The move was partly humanitarian but also aimed at shoring up the Kurdish defenders of Kobani, senior Obama administration officials said - acknowledging it was a shift in the administration's tactics to date.

"This is a part of the President's larger strategy to degrade and destroy ISIL wherever they are," one official said.

The gear was delivered by three C-130 cargo planes and appeared to have been received on the ground by Kurdish fighters, senior Obama administration officials.

There have been reports that ISIS may have anti-aircraft missiles, but the officials said they had no evidence to back those reports and that the cargo planes flew in unescorted.

See more on this developing story on CNN.com

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