ANKARA - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday criticised as “wrong” the airdrops of ammunition and weapons by US planes to Kurdish fighters battling militants in the Syrian town of Kobane.

He said the weapons had fallen into the hands of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) - a Syrian Kurdish group that Ankara does not support - and also Islamic State (IS) militants.

“It has become clear that this was wrong,” Erdogan told reporters in Ankara airport before departing for a trip to Latvia and Estonia. US cargo planes earlier this week dropped ammunition, weapons and medical supplies to the Kurdish fighters who have been battling the militants for control of Kobane for over a month.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said at least one of the loads dropped had been picked up by the militants. A video purportedly showing this has surfaced online. But Erdogan indicated that Turkey was equally troubled by the weapons falling into the hands of the PYD, whose armed branch the People’s Protection Units (YPG) has led the fight against the militants.

Ankara sees the PYD as the Syrian arm of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) whose battle for self-rule in Turkey’s southeast has left 40,000 people dead over three decades. “Some of the airdrops have fallen into the hands of the PYD and ISIS,” he said, using a different name for IS. “It’s impossible to achieve results with such an operation,” he added. “Any support you would give PYD would benefit the PKK. And as Turkey we need to fight against this,” Erdogan added.

Turkey’s animosity towards the PYD puts it at odds with the United States, which favours supporting the group to fight the militants and says it should not be equated with the PKK.

Ankara has insisted it shares the West’s abhorrence of IS but also wants a comprehensive strategy to bring down Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after the three-and-a-half year civil war.

Iraqi Kurdish regional lawmakers Wednesday approved the deployment of security forces to the Syrian town of Kobane to help Kurds battling the Islamic State militant group, the parliament speaker said.

Massud Barzani, the president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, had sent a letter asking its legislature to give him the approval needed for the deployment.

“The Kurdistan parliament decided to send forces to Kobane with the aim of supporting the fighters there and protecting Kobane,” Yusef Mohammed Sadeq said, according to footage of the session.

Three teenage American girls who were suspected of wanting to join Islamic State militants were sent home after they were intercepted in Germany, US media reports said Wednesday.

The three Colorado girls, of Sudanese and Somali origin, were heading for Turkey when they were stopped by German authorities at Frankfurt airport, CNN said.

Turkey is a key point of entry for would-be militants looking to join Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

Meanwhile, Kurdish fighters defending Syria’s border town of Kobane held out against the Islamic State group Wednesday, anxious for relief as Iraq’s Kurdish parliament was set to vote on sending reinforcements.

Backed by air strikes from a US-led coalition, the Kurds have been defending the town on the Turkish border against a fierce IS offensive for more than a month.

After initially losing ground to the militants the Kurds have fought back hard, with the US military saying Tuesday they had halted the IS advance and remained in control of most of Kobane.

They were given a boost this week by the first US air drop of weapons and other supplies, though one of the parachuted crates was reported to have fallen into IS hands. Now local Kurds say they need reinforcements, after Turkey announced Monday it would allow Kurdish fighters from Iraq to travel to the town, which has become a crucial symbolic battleground in the fight against IS.

A senior lawmaker in Iraq’s Kurdish regional parliament told AFP it would vote later Wednesday on deploying its peshmerga forces to the battle for Kobane.

“Today, the Kurdistan parliament will hold a session... to give the authorisation and allow the president of the region to move forces to the town of Kobane” in Syria, Omid Khoshnaw, the head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s parliamentary bloc, told AFP.

Kurdish forces have played a leading role in northern Iraq in combatting IS, which has seized large parts of the country and neighbouring Syria, declaring an Islamic “caliphate” in areas under its control.

Idris Nassen, a local Kurdish official, told AFP that no steps had yet been taken to coordinate the flow of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces to Kobane.

“We have to be informed. Without any coordination any crossing will be impossible,” he said, adding that there had been “fierce clashes” late Tuesday with IS attacking Kurdish positions from three directions.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 18 IS fighters were killed in the clashes on Tuesday and three more in US-led air strikes.

Three Kurdish fighters were also killed, said the Observatory, a Britain-based monitoring group with a broad network of sources inside Syria.

IS fighters are reported to have suffered heavy losses in the battle for Kobane, especially after the coalition dramatically increased strikes on their positions last week.

The Observatory said late Tuesday that 30 militants and 11 Kurdish fighters have been killed in the previous 24 hours and that IS was bringing in reinforcements “as a result of the daily losses in Kobane”.

US officials were initially hesitant to focus on Kobane, insisting the real battle against IS was in Iraq, but in recent days the coalition has carried out more than 140 air strikes in and around the town.

US Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters Tuesday the effort seemed to be paying off but that the danger to the town remained.

“The situation in Kobane still remains tenuous. We do assess that Kurdish forces in the city are in control of the majority of the city,” Kirby said.

American C-130 cargo planes dropped ammunition and medical supplies to the Kurdish forces early on Monday, with small arms and ammunition provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq.

One of the 27 bundles was reported to have gone astray, with an IS video showing a masked fighter opening wooden boxes filled with rockets and grenades.

Kirby said analysts were studying the video but the US military was “very confident that the vast majority of the bundles did end up in the right hands”.

The Syrian regime said its armed forces, including aircraft, had also provided military support to Kurdish fighters defending Kobane, including arms and ammunition.

Although it is not part of the US-led coalition, Damascus “will continue to give military aid to Kobane at the highest level”, Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said in comments published in the Syrian press.

The US has formed a coalition of Western and Arab allies to battle IS, which has been accused of widespread atrocities including mass executions, beheadings, rape, torture and selling women and children into slavery.

The group has been accused of especially harsh treatment of minorities and a senior UN official on Tuesday suggested it had attempted genocide against Iraq’s Yazidi minority.