PYD Leader Thanks US Led Coalition Against ISIS

Kobane_Women

The military assault launched by the terrorist group IS on the city of Kobani on the 15th of September is still undergoing for 26 days.

The IS has gathered – for this assault – all the modern weapons it has captured from the Iraqi army in Mosul and from the Syrian army in Raqqa and Al Tabqa military bases.

The aim of this assault is to commit a massacre similar to the one committed against Yezidi people in Shengal [Sinjar]. However, we want everyone to know that Kobani could withstand this assault despite the lack of adequate gear and supplies.

Salih_Moslem

With the extraordinary resistance of our people and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), we are hopeful that those seek peace, democracy and brotherhood among all peoples will triumph.

I would like to stress that the air strikes of the coalition have saved many civilian lives, and they have contributed to the resistance of the YPG.

I therefore express my hope that these strikes continue as they have great impact on strengthening the bonds of friendship between our people and the forces defending peace and democracy in the world.

On behalf of my party and the people of Kobani, I would like to thank the US lead international coalition and the people around the world for their support of our people in its plight.

http://www.pydrojava.net/eng/index.php/pyd-statements/179-thank-you-to-the-coalition-from-salih-muslim

İsmet Şêx Hesen ile Kobane’deki Durum Üzerine

Kobane Kantonu Savunma Bakanı İsmet Şêx Hesen ile 9 Ekim tarihli röportaj

Ismet_Hasan

Devam eden saldırılarda şu anda durum nedir? Gelen bazı raporlarda şehrin IŞİD’in eline geçtiği bildiriliyor.

Kobane düşmüş değil Kobane elimizde ve şu anda Kobane merkezden konuşuyorum. YPG ve YPJ’li arkadaşlar saldırılara cevap vermektedir.

Dün akşam çok yoğun bir çatışma yaşandı. Şu anda da çatışmalar devam ediyor. IŞİD büyük darbeler yedi bu nedenle Halep, Raqqa ve Cerablus taraflarından teröristler getirerek vahşi saldırılar düzenlediler. Bu vahşi saldırılara biz yerden ABD uçakları ise havadan karşılık verdiler. Dün çok büyük çatışmalar yaşandı ve bunun sonucunda savaş devam ediyor ve IŞİD çetelerini kısmi de olsa durdurduk.

Çatışmalar şu anda devam ediyor ve ABD uçakları da koordineli olarak vuruyor. Biz de burada tarihi bir direniş sergiliyoruz ve burada çok büyük bir savaş veriliyor.

Musul birkaç saat içinde düşmüşken Kobane nasıl 25 gündür direniyor? Bu nasıl oluyor?

25. gününe giren saldırılarda savaşçılarımız genellikle ferdi silahlarla direnmeye devam ediyorlar. YPG savaşçıları büyük bir direniş gösteriyor bu kıt imkânlarla. Bu küçük güç ve imkânlarla biz direnmeye devam edeceğiz. İnşallah ABD uçakları vurmaya devam eder. Bizlere de etkili silahlar verilebilirse çok iyi olacak ve bu sayede biz, IŞİD saldırılarına cevap olabileceğiz etkili eylemlere başvurabileceğiz hava operasyonlarının desteğiyle de o çeteleri süpürebiliriz. Onların elindeki silahlar biliniyor zaten. Tank ve ağır silahlar kullanıyorlar. Amerika’nın silah vermesi durumunda alınacak sonuç, bütün dünya üzerinde etkili olabilecek bir sonuçtur.

ABD uçaklarından bahsettiniz. 3 gündür üst üste vuruyor. Bugün de vuruyor mu?

ABD uçakları üç gündür Kobane’de çok yoğun bir hareketlilik içinde ancak biz mevcut durumdan kaynaklı, sonuçlardan haberdar değiliz.5 dakika önce ABD uçakları IŞİD’i bir kez daha vurdu ve hala Kobane semalarında uçuşa devam ediyorlar.

Suriye İnsan Hakları İzleme Örgütü (SOHR)’un verdiği bilgilere göre Kobane Asayiş Binası IŞİD’in eline geçmiş. Doğru mu bu bilgi?

Kobane asayiş binasının IŞİD’in eline geçtiği doğrudur. Bir önceki gün çok eylemler içinde bulunduk ve bu saldırılardan sonra Rakka ve Halep’ten tank ve ağır silahlar getirip saldırılarda bulundular ve asayiş binasına yaklaştılar. Yoğun tank ve ağır saldırılar sonucu ele geçirdiler. Birçok sivil insanı şehit ettiler ve yaraladılar. Yaralıları Kuzey’e geçirdik şu anda şehrin içinde yaralımız bulunmamaktadır. Bizim de kaybımız oldu ancak ABD uçakları bu saldırıların sonucunda asayiş binasına havadan operasyon düzenleyerek binayı başlarına yıktı.

Dün bomba yüklü bir araç patlamıştı. Sonucu ne oldu?

Bomba yüklü bir kamyonla asayiş binasına yaklaşan IŞİD teröristleri, arkadaşlarımızın etkili vuruşları sayesinde hedefe varamadan bina yakınlarında bulunan boş bir alanda imha edilmiştir ve bunun sonucunda hiçbir kayıp yaşanmamıştır.

Bazı yayın organları Irak Kürdistan Bölgesi’nden yardım ve destek geldiğini belirtiyor. Bunun gerçekliği var mı?

Kuzey’den gelen gıda yardımları ile acil ihtiyaçlar dışında herhangi yardımda bulunulmuş değil. Üç tarafımız çevrili olduğu için gıda dışında herhangi bir yardım alabilmiş değiliz. Güneyden bir yardım almış değiliz gelen şeyler de Kuzey üzerinden geliyor. Aksini söyleyenlere itibar edilmemelidir.

Bazı çevreler ‘Kobane düştü, düşecek’ söylemlerinde bulunuyor. Bunu neye bağlayacaksınız?

Burada öz savunma savaşı yürütülüyor. Birçok defa Al Jazeera’nin sürekli dillendirdiği gibi Kobane’nin düşmüş olması söz konusu değildir. Kobane düştü içinde siviller kalmadı gibi bilgileri geçiyorlar. Böyle bir durum yoktur. Kürt halkından beklentimiz Kobane Kantonuna destek olup sahip çıkmalarıdır. YPG ve YPJ olarak vatanımızı terk etmeyeceğiz. Biz direnip kazanacağız. İnşallah Kobane düşmeyecektir. ABD’nin hava saldırıları içinde teşekkürlerimizi sunuyoruz

Premier of Kobane Anwar Moslem: The Fall of Kobane Would Be the Fall of Humanity

Anwar_Moslem_Serkeftin

Anwar Moslem on the right with dark shirt

In an exclusive interview conducted on Wednesday, Ovober 8, 20014, the Premier of local Kurdish Kobane Canton administration Anwar Moslem provides important update about Kobane and ongoing ISIS attacks against the city.

Mutlu Civiroglu https://twitter.com/mutludc

***

Mr. Moslem, what’s the current situation in Kobane?

ISIS hasn’t withdrawn yet. ISIS is still in the eastern, southeastern and southern [parts of the town. They are a little away from the western section. Clashes continue so far. Fierce ffightings are taking place. They aim for a massacre. There are thousands of civilians here; children, women and elderly. As the resistance is in its 24th day, they want to crush it spitefully with all the civilians as well. The fact is there is heroic resistance here by Kurdish Protection Units (YPG). American and coalition air strikes are very welcome here by our forces and the Canton administration.

Tell me about the civilians inside Kobane. There are reports that all civilians left the city?

Claims that there are no civilians in Kobane are false. Nobody can, nobody dares to get out of their homes as there are fierce clashes and flying bullets everywhere. There are thousands of civilians under the ISIS threat. Some are here in the city; some others are close to the border. Their situation is getting worse and dangerous. Some media say Kobane is empty. It’s not true. There are civilians even in the villages ISIS has overrun. Their situation too is dangerous. I repeat that there are civilians in the town. I can’t give you an exact number, but there are thousands of civilians here. If the media wants we can provide pictures and interviews with civilians. Our main purpose in calling the international community is protecting these civilians, children and women.

American and coalition air strikes have had effective results in the last two days. When jets strike civilians in the city cheer up. They salute American jets. Defense Ministry of the Kobane administration said, in a statement, that our YPG forces and the coalition partners can root out ISIS from the Middle East.

You mentioned airstrikes. How effective are today’s air strikes?

They are effective today as well. But we cannot know how much exactly. As the fighting rages on we can’t determine the effect. We are in touch with our forces who witness air strikes. But they are usually busy in fighting ISIS militants. We don’t want to keep them busy, so we avoid calling them frequently.

The jets carry out a good mission, especially for the well-being of civilians. That’s why the continuation of air strikes in Kobane against ISIS is important. The destruction of ISIS’s tanks, Humvees and other heavy vehicles is of utmost importance. Today they carried out a car bomb attack. That’s why American, British, French and all other coalition partner’s jets should continue targeting ISIS in Kobane Canton. ISIS receives reinforcement from Tal Abyad and Raqqah. The coalition partners should be tracking them better. They must stop them. So that we can finish them off inside Kobane and save the civilians.

Some media reports claim these airstrikes are useless. Are they?

No, they are pretty effective in last two days. As the head of the Canton Administration, I recognize the fact that they are helpful and effective. ISIS militants are using artillery they brought from Mosul, and it is used against the civilians as well. So why should the coalition stop the bombardment? The coalition is saving these civilians and the canton. So be it known by all sides that YPG on the ground with the American and coalition jets overhead can fight ISIS off.

Is YPG capable of expelling ISIS from Kobane?

Yes, as long as their artillery, vehicles and tanks are destroyed, new reinforcements are cut off; we don’t have anti-tank weaponry by the way, our forces can finish them off. YPG has promised to annihilate those thugs.

What about YPG loses and injuries? How many ISIS fighters were killed?

YPG and Women’s Defense Units (YPJ) are the sons and daughters of this people. Most of these fighters are in their twenties. They fight against ISIS looters, thieves whose aim is destruction.

arin-mirkan1

Arin Mirkan

ISIS commits inhuman actions; they behead even our girls. YPG and YPJ are fighting against such a cruel terrorist group.

A young Kurdish woman Arin Mirkan who was a YPJ commander chose to detonate herself among a group of ISIS members. Rather than surrendering to ISIS, she chose sacrificing her life such in such heroic way.

But, we are hopeful that our forces with the help of the coalition partners can fight ISIS till they are annihilated, and we can rebuild peace and stability once more.

What about the reaction of people around the globe to your case? American people are deeply concerned that the Kobane will fall. Similarly people in other corner of the world have similar concerns for you.

ACW

The memory of 9/11 is with us. We especially want to reach out to the American people and their government. We know their suffering too. We remember terrorist attacks against civilians in Spain, France and elsewhere. We are aware of what happened innocent journalists and aid workers at terrorists’ hands.

We, as the administration of Kobane Canton, call upon all sides to challenge the threat together as to create security. We believe in support of the American people and people all over the world.

I would like to tank all human rights defenders in becoming a voice for the voiceless Kobane. I am very grateful on behalf of the people of Kobane. I want everyone to know that fall of Kobane would be the fall of humanity. I therefore appeal everyone to stand up for Kobane and stand with us in these very difficult days.

***

***

If you want my participation to a show, interview me or get a quote on Kobane and other Kurdish related issues, please contact me at mciviroglu@gmail.com

You can follow me on Twitter for latest updates from Kobani  https://twitter.com/mutludc

***

This interview was translated from Kurdish into English by Ê Din

Enwer Mislim: Kobanê Tüm Kürtlerin Onurudur

Anwar_Moslem_Serkeftin

Kobanê Kantonu Başbakanı Enwer Misilim ile IŞİD saldırılarına karşı 24 gündür direnen Kobanê’nin son durumunu görüştük *

***

Sayın Enwer Mislim, 24 gündür Kobanê çok ağır saldırılar altında ve bütün dünyanın gözü Kobanê’de. Türlü iddialar var, bazı kaynaklar IŞİD’in şehri ele geçirdiğini söylerken bazıları geri çekildiğini söylüyor. Kobanê’de durum şu an nasıl?

IŞİD’in geri çekildiğini söyleyemeyeceğiz henüz, üç taraftan da şehri kuşatmış durumdalar. Şehrin güney ve doğu yakasında şehir içindeler, batı yakasında da biraz uzaklar. 24 gündür şiddetli çatışmalar yaşanıyor burada, 25. güne geçeceğiz birazdan. IŞİD buradaki direnişi kırıp bir katliam gerçekleştirmek istiyor burada. Hala sivil insanlar var Kobanê’de, binlerce çocuk ve kadın. IŞİD bir katliamla bütün hıncını bu sivil insanlardan çıkarmak istiyor. Fakat yerde YPG’nin görkemli direnişi gökte de çok memnun kaldığımız Amerika ve koalisyondaki ülkelerin saldırıları birlikte onların planını boşa çıkaracak.

Sivillerden bahsediyorsunuz, fakat dünya basını Kobanê’de sivil insanların kalmadığını söylüyor. Neden bu tür haberler çıkıyor peki?

Savaş hali çok ağır bir şey, bazıları insanların burayı terk etmesi için propaganda yapıyor. Hiç sivil insan kalmamış diyen bazıları da olayı bilmiyor. Savaş hali olduğu için sivil insanların çoğu evlerinden çıkamıyor, sınırda da bekleyen birçok insan var, medya yanlış biliyor yani. Altını çizerek, üstüne basa basa sivil insanların burada olduğunu ve büyük bir tehlikenin söz konusu olduğunu dile getiriyorum. Sayılarını tam olarak veremeyeceğim şimdilik, fakat binlerce sivil. Medyaya gerekli fotoğrafları, videoları servis edebiliriz, onlar da gelip görebilirler. Zaten biz uluslararası güçlere seslenirken bizim öncelikli hedefimiz bu sivilleri kurtarmak. Ki son iki gündür yapılan etkili saldırılar sivillerin korkularını biraz olsun dindirdi. Uçaklar IŞİD’i bombalarken zılgıt çeken kadınlar var, uçakları selamlayan çocuklar.

Son iki gündür yapılan saldırılar etkisini gösterdi diyorsunuz, bugün yapılan son saldırılar hakkında ne diyeceksiniz?

Bugün de saldırılar çok etkili. Fakat biz tedbir amaçlı bir yerde kalıyoruz şimdi, tam olarak göremiyoruz. Çatışmalar sürdüğü için de savaşan kahramanlarımıza ulaşıp saldırılar hakkında detaylı bilgi alamıyoruz çabuk çabuk. Fakat Amerika ve koalisyondaki ülkelerin son saldırıları sivilleri kurtarmaya yönelik, etkili olduğunu fark ediyoruz. Biz bu saldırıların devam etmesini umuyoruz, tankları, panzerleri, Hummer arabaları hedef alınmalı. IŞİD çok büyük bir güçle saldırıyor, mesela bugün büyük bir arabaya bir sürü bomba yükleyip arabayı patlattılar.

Hava saldırısı yapan ülkeler, Amerika olsun, Fransa olsun, İngiltere olsun, koalisyondaki bütün ülkeler saldırılarına etkili bir şekilde devam etmeli ki IŞİD’e arkadan gelen destek kesilsin. Özellikle Til Abyad ve Rakka’dan çok fazla destek geliyor onlara. Eğer bu destek de kesilirse yerde YPG, gökte koalisyon IŞİD’i rahatlıkla bitirebiliriz.

Yine dünya basınına döneceğim, dünya basını saldırıların etkisiz olduğunu söylerken siz saldırıların çok faydalı olduğunu söylüyorsunuz, nasıl böyle bir zıtlık oluşuyor?

Biz Kobanê Kantonu yetkilileri olarak, resmi açıklamamızla saldırılar etkili oldu diyoruz. IŞİD, Musul’da ele geçirdiği ağır silahlarla sivilleri hedef alıyor ve neden Amerika ve koalisyon bizi hedef alıyor diyor. YPG’nin de Amerika ve koalisyondaki ülkelerin de hedefi sivilleri korumak. Yerde ve gökte aynı şey için çalışınca saldırılar faydalı oldu diyebildik.

Peki, hava saldırıları böyle devam ederse YPG mevcut durumu düzeltir diyebilir miyiz?

Eğer hava saldırılar böyle devam ederse, yani eğer IŞİD’in ağır silahları ve tankları imha edilirse IŞİD üyelerini bitirmek YPG için çok zor olmaz. YPG, IŞİD’i tamamen bitirmek için ant içmiş. Bunun için hava saldırıları hem Kobanê için hem sivil halk için çok önemli.

Peki, savaş cephesinde son olarak durum ne? Basın son zamanlarda YPJ’den de çok bahseder oldu. YPG ve YPJ hakkında neler diyeceksiniz?

YPG ve YPJ bu halkın çocuklarıdır. 18, 19, 20 yaşındaki gençlerimizin göstermiş olduğu görkemli direniş dünyanın hiçbir yerinde görülmüş bir şey değil. Bir şey yapmaya değil, yakıp yıkmaya gelen IŞİD karşısında savaşıyorlar. Arin Mirkan gibi fedai eylemler gerçekleştirenler, IŞİD’in eline geçmemek için kendilerine kurşun sıkanlar var. Genç kızlarımızın başları kesiliyor, YPG ve YPJ böylesi vahşi bir terör örgütüne karşı savaşıyor. Biz YPG ve YPJ’nin mutlak zaferine inanıyoruz.

Kobanê için dünyanın birçok yerinde ayağa kalkan Kürtlere neler diyeceksiniz?

Özellikle Amerik’ada yaşayan herkes 11 Eylül saldırılarını hatırlamalı. Yine IŞİD tarafından başları kesilen Amerikalı gazeteci ve İngiliz de herkesin gözleri önüne gelmeli. Yani IŞİD tehlikesi ile karşı karşıya kalan kalmayan herkes insanlık için bir şeyler yapmalı, Kobanê’de yaşanan şeyleri bütün dünyaya duyurmalı. Kürdistan’a dönersek eğer, zaten bugün artık Kobanê tüm Kürtlerin ve Kürdistan’ın onurudur. Kobanê düşerse eğer Kürdistani onurumuzu kaybederiz. Herkes bu onura çıksın.

* Bu röportaj 8 Ekim tarihinde gerçekleştirilmiştir.

Turkey’s passive-aggressive inaction in Kobani is anti-Kurd, anti-peace politics. And it’s dangerous

If Isis seizes the border city, who’s to say they won’t attack the Turks next? Erdogan needs to stop treating Kurdish people like others

m*The Turkish president asks: ‘What does Kobani have to do with Turkey?’ You look at refugees like this and you think: everything. Photograph: Umit Bektas/Reuters

 

Any second now, it seems as if Syria’s Kurdish border city of Kobani will fall. Amazingly, Kurds have been holding their ground, and western air strikes have yielded “positive results”, according to the region’s top leader, who says that “with the help of US and coalitions jets, we can expel Isis from Kobani and save the lives of these civilians”.

But such is the danger of positive thinking: unless something happens to drastically shift the balance of power on the ground, the Islamic State (Isis) may eventually overtake the city, forcing many times more than the 200,000 Kobanis already in exodus into an unknown future, upheaving the relative peace of Kurdish-controlled Syria and possibly ending to one of the most unheralded ongoing peace discussions in the world.

That something is Turkey, which could and should save Kobani – but which has been passively monitoring the death-soaked danger unfolding on its border. The United Nations has warned of genocide on the scale of Srebenica, asking only for volunteers and their equipment to enter the city, but Turkey has refused. Kurdish leaders have called for a corridor to allow weapons and aid transport, but Turkey keeps saying no. Indeed, the only access Kobani has to the outside world is Turkey, with Nato’s second largest army and its tanks on the border, but Turkish leaders in Ankara simply look on.

Why? Such is the danger in stubborn politicking: Ankara does not want Kurdish autonomy, and it is still worried about Bashar al-Assad more than Isis. We are worried about the wrong atrocities, goes this line of thinking, just because Isis is scary. But Turkey has ulterior motives – and they have led not just to a willful ignorance of massacre, but to a willing breakdown in the political peace process.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was supposed to be the architect of that process, which promised a solution to a decades-old standoff on Kurdish rights with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). But just a few days ago, Erdogan said the PKK and Isis were “the same”, and the PKK responded with harsh statements of its own, going so far as to threaten to “mobilize the guerrillas”. This isn’t helpful, obviously, but is that Turkey’s true intention with the Kurds? To prevent Kurdish independence at all costs, just because it is led by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is so closely aligned with the PKK and has had so much success actually governing across the border in Syria?

Ankara has asked for the creation of a Turkish controlled buffer zone, which would include Kobani and essentially end the autonomous canton system that the Kurds have been governing themselves. The international community is not interested.

Ankara has also suggested creating a no-fly zone to weaken Assad, even though – by forcing the PYD and the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) to join the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), two groups with very little power left on the ground that have never accepted the Kurds as an equal partner – it would essentially weaken the Kurds in Syria, making them depend on Turkey’s way of war. The coalition fighting Isis does not seem too interested in that either.

When I talk to Syrian Kurds, they seem to believe that Turkey considers their desperate situation merely an opportunity to impose conditions upon them that are virtually impossible to accept: that they give up the Kurdish self-government that has emerged across Syria over the last two years, thus weakening Kurdish aspirations for more autonomy in Turkey.

Kurds in Turkey have taken to the streets in mass protest, condemning Erdogan’s gross passivity but acting with increasing caution, as the jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan says it’s time for talks. Among the Kurds in both Syria and Turkey, there is a serious concern that the peace process would collapse if Kobani falls, and that Turkish-Kurdish relations will be irreparably damaged.

But even if Turkey doesn’t care about the Kurds, Turkey should be concerned for itself. If Isis seizes Kobani and the border gate, there is no guarantee that the group will not launch attacks against Turkey in future. At the very least, Isis will gain access to more economic and political resources and be able to recruit new fighters easily. Ankara must accept that the fight for Kobani is not only for the Kurds; it is a fight for Turkey, for the entire region.

“What does Kobani have to do with Turkey?” Erdogan asked over the weekend, rhetorically but to the intense sorrow of Kurds worldwide. The answer, simply, is everything. The Kurds in Turkey and Syria are intertwined, whether Ankara likes it or not. This goes beyond compassion, beyond Erdogan’s tears for the killing of a the daughter of Muslim Brotherhood leader.

By remaining idle, Turkey will always be remembered for its inaction in the face of a rapidly approaching massacre. But Kobani offers an historic opportunity for Turkey to show it is on the right side of history; all it needs to do now is open that safe corridor, and a golden opportunity for reconciliation awaits. All Ankara needs to do now is help those in need, in the face of barbarous terrorism.

We are still waiting. Any second now, Mr Erdogan. Any second now.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/profile/mutlu-civiroglu

Don’t Ask For Her Identity

A Poem for Kobane

Kobane zArok

Don’t ask for her identity
If you see a little girl
with her eyes full of tears.
She must be a Kurdish child of Kobane
Or she might be from Shengal!
Don’t ask for her identity
Don’t ask why her heart is full of fears.

Don’t ask for her identity
If you see a little girl with faded hopes
Know that in middle of her dreams
She was awakened by the sound of gun firings.
To escape the rockets
She would fly if she had wings.

Don’t ask for her identity
If you see a little girl
didn’t act like a child
If you see a little kid with a frown.
She is deprived of a normal childhood
By the fear of ISIS
Trying to take over her childhood,
Trying to take over her town.

Don’t ask for her identity,
Just be silent like the rest of the world.
Even when you see her blood in the streets,
Like the world leaders
Be a coward
And don’t say a word.
 

Goran Rahim

Coalition Airstrikes in Kobane Helping Kurds

Kobaneeee

In an over-the-phone interview, Defense Minister of Kobane Canton Ismet Hasan says the coalition airstrikes on Tuesday were pretty effective and caused some damage on ISIS.

“ISIS is a threat not only for Kobane and the Kurds, but also for a treat against all humanity. Coalition airstrikes and our fight on the ground is a strong cooperation against ISIS threat, and we are optimistic that it will bring positive outcomes.”

Hasan says although they don’t know the exact damage of the airstrikes, they could determine that 1 tank, 6 vehicles with machine guns, 5 dushka, 1 armored personnel carrier (APC) were destroyed, tens of ISIS members were killed.

Premier of Kobane Canton Anwar Moslem also praised the coalition airstrikes that continued multiple times on Tuesday. “Today’s strikes were really helpful. We are hoping that the coalition will continue striking ISIS like this.”

Moslem pointed out that the coalition should continue hitting ISIS targets in the same way they did on Tuesday. “If the coalition strikes ISIS terrorists effectively, we can handle the situation on the ground,” he added.

Moslem also thanked the people around the world that for their solidarity with the people of Kobane.

“I would like to thank Kurds in North [Turkey] and diaspora, as well as people around the world who have been with us in these difficult days. Their solidarity and support messages have been great source of strength and optimism for the people of Kobane and YPG and YPJ fighters on the front.”

***

For feedback, quote or interview requests, please contact me at mciviroglu@gmail.com

You can follow me on Twitter for latest updates from Kobani  https://twitter.com/mutludc

Why ISIS Focus Its Attacks on Kobane?

Kobane_Civilians

First published on July 10, 2014

ISIS attacks against Kobane are significant for several reasons. First, with the recent confidence gained by taking over Mosul and other cities in Iraq, ISIS wants to expand its control over a larger territory of Syria as well. After seizing two oil fields from a rival extremist group, ISIS wants to seize Kobane which remains in the middle of territories under its control. ISIS currently controls Girsespi (Tall Abyad), Jarablus and Raqqah. It desperately wants Kobane to connect the regions under its control and make it a part of the “Islamic State”.

Taking control of such an important city will enable ISIS to seize new territories from the direction of east and west, in addition to connecting Tall Abyad and Jarablus.

Furthermore, being a border city with Suruc of Sanliurfa province of Turkey, seizing Kobane will also allow ISIS to control the Mursitpinar Border Gate with Turkey as well. It is well known that ISIS gives specific importance to border gates especially for trade, easy crossing for fighters and logistics, the treatment of injured fighters etc. In this regard, it is increasingly likely that ISIS will plan attacks on other border crossings controlled by the Kurds like Serekaniye and Til Kochar (Yarubia), and crossings controlled by rival Islamist groups in Azaz.

In addition, ISIS also wants to cut Kobane from the Kurdish Mountain Region (Kurd Dagh) or Canton of Afrin and Canton of Jazira (Hasakah). As of now, moving between three Kurdish Cantons is difficult. According to local officials, currently hundreds of civilians are also held hostage in Jarablus and Tall Abyad. Also some 130 Kurdish students who were kidnapped by the group remain in captivity for over a month after they were kidnapped as they were returning from school exams in Aleppo.

Despite all calls from international human rights groups those children and other civilians are still not released and are being used as a bargaining chip to pressurize YPG, according to local human rights defenders.

If Kobane falls to ISIS, such a possibility will bring some additional advantages for ISIS to further pursue its goals. It is apparent that ISIS does not hesitate to use any means to seize the city including kidnapping civilians and crucifying them, destroying houses and taking properties and even cutting off the water of the city.

Due to the fact that the taking of Kobane will be very advantageous for ISIS, it is not holding back from committing all sorts of cruelty against the people. ISIS is kidnapping civilians, publicly crucifying them and killing them by torture. Local sources are frequently reporting that ISIS is ransacking civilian homes and confiscating civilian property. As a matter of fact, it is well known that ISIS has on several occasions cut off the drinking water supply to Kobane.

One other factor to remember is that Kobane is the first city in Rojava to have been freed from the Assad regime on July 19, 2012. Hence, the city has a special meaning for Kurds in Rojava. If the Kurds lose this city it will also have a demoralizing impact on them and their struggle for self-rule. Therefore, attacking Kobane is also attacking the gains of the Kurds in Syria, and a message for Kurds that ISIS [and its regional supporters] will not allow Kurdish autonomy in Syria.

***

Read my detailed VICE article on Kobane published in July

***

For feedback, quote or interview requests, please contact me at mciviroglu@gmail.com

You can follow me on Twitter for latest updates from Kobani  https://twitter.com/mutludc

Update From Kobani (October 6, 2014)

Kobaneeee

According to sources inside Kobani, as if October 6 7:30am UTC the city is still under the YPG control. City center was shelled all day on Sunday by the tanks stationed on south of the hill which is under ISIS control.

Civilians death and injuries were reported although the exact numbers are not known.

Contrary to what is widely reported, there are still many civilians in the city. Ayse Efendi, Cochair of Kobane Council and the wife of PYD leader Salih Muslim estimates there are 10-15 thousand civilians still in the city.

Kobane Defense Minister Ismet S. Hasan says heavy fighting especially continued near Mistanour Hill.

Ismet_Hasan

“ISIS wanted to attack the city with a vehicle full of explosives but YPG forces detected and destroyed the vehicle.”

Hasan also informs that a commander of Women’s Protection Units (YPJ *) Arin Mirkan detonated herself in a self-sacrificing mission to among a group of ISIS fighters.

Meanwhile coalition forces also conducted airstrikes around 02:30 local time against ISIS targets on Mistanour Hill and Termik Village.

Since access to areas targeted by coalition jets is either none or quite limited, real effectiveness of the attacks are unknown.

However, Hasan stated his content about coalition airstrikes calling them important.

“US airstrikes are important and we value them. We hope there will be more frequent strikes against ISIS targets who continuously shell the city. Airstrikes can be more effective if they are day time because ISIS predicts the strikes and act accordingly.”

* YPJ is the the women only military force of the YPG. Some experts estimate about 35% of the YPG fighters are women.

**This report is written from the information obtained from Hasan and several other sources inside of Kobani.

***

For feedback, quote or interview requests, please contact me at mciviroglu@gmail.com

You can follow me on Twitter for latest updates from Kobani  https://twitter.com/mutludc

Update From Kobani (October 5, 2014)

Mistenur

According to Anwar Moslem, Premier of Kobani Canton fierce battles continue around the city, especially near Mistanour Hill, and they are still in full control of Kobani city.

“Fierce fights continue around the city, with clashes intensifying around Mistanour Hill. ISIS pushes hard to seize the hill, but YPG resists holding it.”

Enwer Mislim

Moslem adds that ISIS has 4 tanks near Mistanour which continuously shell the city.

Some sources report ISIS now control of southern part if Mistanour Hill while some others did not verify this information.

As far as coalition air strikes concerned, sources say there were probably 6 (some say 5, some others say 7) strikes last night. However, they did not cause serious damage since heavy shelling continue (*).

Several other sources inside Kobani also provided information similar to Mr. Moslem’s account. Additionally, they reported that there are casualties from both sides, but loses of ISIS were considerably more than YPG’s.

* Because access to areas targeted by coalition jets is limited, information of sources about the effectiveness of airstrikes may not always be accurate. However, all sources agree that Saturday, October 4 strikes were the most effective strikes of coalition forces against ISIS near Kobani.

***

For feedback, quote or interview requests, please contact me at mciviroglu@gmail.com

You can follow me on Twitter for latest updates from Kobani  https://twitter.com/mutludc