The president of Iraqi Kurdistan complained on Friday about being excluded from a meeting in London this week of the US-led coalition against Islamic State, saying Kurdish fighters deserved more respect.
Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers approved a plan on Wednesday to send fighters to the Syrian town of Kobane to relieve fellow Kurds under attack by Islamic State militants, marking the semi-autonomous region`s first military foray into Syria`s war.
Jihadists are on the verge of seizing the key Syrian border town of Kobane, neighbouring Turkey has warned, prompting the UN envoy to Syria to appeal for immediate international action to prevent its fall.
US and coalition planes pounded Islamic State positions in Syria again on Wednesday, but the strikes did not halt the fighters` advance in a Kurdish area where fleeing refugees told of villages burnt and captives beheaded.
Quiet and bookish, Iraq`s president-elect Fuad Masum is different from jocular incumbent Jalal Talabani, but sharp political skills forged in the long battle for Kurdish self-determination are common to both.
Egypt`s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned the independence of Iraq`s Kurdish region would be "catastrophic" and cause the Middle East to splinter along ethnic and religious lines, newspapers reported Monday.