Kurds issue new call to arms against Islamic State in Syria * Islamic State fighters advance on Kurdish border town * PKK calls for Turkey’s Kurds to rise up
Kurdish militants in Turkey have issued a new call to arms to defend a border town in northern Syria from advancing Islamic State fighters, and the Turkish authorities and United Nations prepared today for a surge in refugees.
About 70,000 Syrian Kurds have fled into Turkey since Friday as Islamic State fighters seized dozens of villages close to the border and advanced on the frontier town of Ayn alArab, known as Kobani in Kurdish. A Kurdish commander on the ground said Islamic State had advanced to within 15 km (9 miles) of Kobani, whose strategic location has been blocking the radical Sunni Muslim militants from consolidating their gains across northern Syria.
A Kurdish politician from Turkey who visited Kobani on Saturday said locals had told him that Islamic State fighters were beheading people as they went from village to village. Rather than a war this is a genocide operation … They are going into the villages and cutting the heads of one or two people and showing them to the villagers, Ibrahim Binici, a deputy for Turkey’s proKurdish HDP, told Reuters.
It is truly a shameful situation for humanity, he said, calling for international intervention. Five of his fellow MPs planned a hunger strike outside U.N. offices in Geneva to press for action, he said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors Syria’s civil war, said clashes continued overnight, killing 10 insurgents and bringing the number of Islamic State fighters killed to at least 39. At least 27 Kurdish fighters have died.
Islamic State has seized at least 64 villages around Kobani since the onslaught started on Tuesday, using heavy arms and thousands of fighters. It executed at least 11 civilians on Saturday, including at least two boys, the Observatory said. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a rebel group which has spent three decades fighting for autonomy for Turkey’s Kurds, renewed a call for the youth of Turkey’s mostly Kurdish southeast to rise up and rush to save Kobani.
Supporting this heroic resistance is not just a debt of honour of the Kurds but all Middle East people. Just giving support is not enough, the criterion must be taking part in the resistance, it said in a statement on its website. ISIL (Islamic State) fascism must drown in the blood it spills … The youth of North Kurdistan (southeast Turkey) must flow in waves to Kobani, it said.