While the historical resistance of the People Protection Units (YPG) and the Women Protection Units (YPJ) continues against Daash terrorists, making a major victory with their heroic steadfastness, the rubble of destruction and devastation throughout the city increases.
Moreover, the negative effects of the war on Kobane civilians from children, women and elderly people accumulate either inside the city or on the boarder points with Turkey.
Therefore, the possibility of living and pursue life almost become impossible and even warn of an impending humanitarian disaster. Especially hard coldness of winter and spreading of residues harmful projectiles further endanger lives of human and other beings.
But, despite the destruction and devastation of Kobane Canton, its resistance takes a global and humanitarian dimensions beyond its borders, reflecting the human values and objectives. The sacrifices of its heroes and defenders become general humanitarian gains that turn their steadfast city to a global defender front for the international community and humanity as whole.
The above mentioned impose on everyone’s duty to support and provide help to them as long as the security and safety of all of us in danger.
The Executive Council in Kobane Canton salutes the heroic resistance of YPG, YPJ, Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Peshmerga forces against Daash in an ordinary meeting today.
The Council members appreciate sacrifices of the mentioned common forces and salute their bravery and honest commitment to defend the noble humanitarian values and their strenuously quest to build a democratic, fair and equal society, which shares peace and tranquility regionally and globally.
The Council members, at the same time, saddened with the global indifference towards Kobane, expressing their deep regret for the failure of the humanitarian organizations and democratic countries to the worsening humanitarian situation where Kobane civilians exposed from all sides to instantaneous indiscriminate shells and continuing attacks of Daash, killing and injuring many of them.
In addition to, great challenges left by the suffocating siege on the province, making providing life means and its essential things impossible. With the gradual disappear from the stocks of food, medicine and baby milk of warehouses or destroy completely by bomb shelling.
So, there is possibility of a humanitarian catastrophe against civilians if the international community does not take the initiative to meet the calls of our citizens and defenders to open a safe humanitarian corridor to cleanse the effects of missiles, bombings and the rubble of destruction.
We appeal international community to make very effort to save the lives of children and other civilians by offering them through support and aid of medical, food and preventive fundamentals.
Mr. Anwar Moslem, clashes in Kobane continue for over three months now. What is the latest situation in Kobane now, especially with regard to military developments?
ISIS has been attacking Kobane with heavy weapons for more than three months. YPG and YPJ forces have mounted a great resistance to these attacks. Recently, YPG and YPJ have advanced several streets further on the eastern front, and also made further advances on the southern front. However, the main problem on these fronts is the presence of a street fighting. The ISIS is already outside the city on the western front. Airstrikes of the coalition led by the U.S. are targeting the positions and munitions of the ISIS. We can say that defeating ISIS in Kobane will be a huge gain for the entire humanity. We want everyone to see this point very clearly.
Kobane will attain victory soon, and we truly believe this. However, there still remain some dangers, as there are thousands of civilians in Kobane, including children, who are facing great difficulties due to harsh winter conditions. We are once again calling on the international community to enable the opening of a humanitarian corridor into Kobane. This Tuesday’s mortar attacks by the ISIS have left three civilians martyred and dozens of others injured.
What do the civilians stranded in Kobane and on the border primarily need in the face of harsh winter conditions?
Three quarters of the Kobane city have turned into ruin as result of the attacks by the ISIS. The civilians in Kobane and on the border are mainly in need of clothing, food and beverage. They are also facing a great shortage of medicine. In addition, camps are needed to be built in order to provide shelter and a warm place for these people. This is also needed for thousands of people who will remain outside when they turn back once the resistance in Kobane ends up in victory.
Human rights defenders and international aid organizations need to extend a hand to these people whose houses have all been demolished. Since the day clashes broke out in Kobane, it has been only the municipalities, civilian aid organizations and the people of North Kurdistan [of Turkey] to look after the people of Kobane. Regardless of all the calls we have issued so far, I regret to tell that international organizations are yet to provide any help. The situation of the Kobane people in the city, on the border and in tent cities in Suruc is really heartbreaking.
Turkish government says it has provided great help to the Kobane people and opened its doors to them. You are, however, saying that it has been only the ‘municipalities in the north [of Kurdistan/Turkey’ to provide help?
The statements by Turkey do really sadden us. We weren’t expecting Turkey to act like this. ISIS has recently attacked Kobane from the Mursitpinar Border Crossing on the Turkish side, but Turkey denied this. In relation with that attack, we asked politicians and civilians, from either inside or outside Turkey, to establish a commission of investigation, but Turkey remained silent.
Our people in refugee camps in Suruc are in a dire situation and children aren’t even allowed to receive education in their mother tongue. Turkey is always repeating the same thing, saying that ‘we have opened our doors’. After all, it is a humanitarian duty to open doors to these people who fled the massacres committed by the ISIS in Mosul, Tikrit and everywhere else. Apart from “opening its doors”, Turkey has provided no noticeable help, this is the truth. All human rights defenders, independent organizations and media workers can examine the situation in camps in Suruc in order to see and witness this truth themselves.
What would you like to say about the ISIS attack which left two civilians dead in Australia?
Terrorist actions do really hurt all humanity. Several years ago, thousands of innocent civilians were killed in September 11 terror attacks America. This was followed by similar incidents in France, Spain, Canada and most recently in Australia. The terror in Kobane is the same of the terror in these countries. We offer our condolences to the families of these people and the Australian government. The entire world needs to act together against this terror which is targeting the peoples and religions.
Ms. Hillary Clinton said in a most recent statement that the U.S. should provide assistance to the Kurdish female fighters of the YPJ, and spoke highly of them. What would you say in this regard?
From Kobane, we are sending our greetings to all the American people who have supported us. The statement of Ms. Hillary Clinton has honored us. We are once again extending our thanks to all the American authorities that have lent a helping hand to us. They also have a share in this resistance. The resistance of the YPJ in Kobane is the resistance of all the world’s women. Ms. Hillary Clinton does also have a share in this resistance for she has supported it. We hope that the whole world will in the same way support the YPG, the YPJ and Kobane. The victory in Kobane will be the victory of all the peoples standing against terror.
Kobane now is a place known by the whole world and people from across the world who want to provide help inquire about how to reach you. Is there a certain mechanism in place for people to assist you?
All three sides of Kobane have been surrounded by the ISIS and Turkey is on the other side. Turkey is just permitting the crossing of some wounded people and aid. We are facing some problems in this regard as we cannot move freely. A bank account belong to our administration will be opened soon to enable the people intending to help to reach us. It is not only the Kurdish people but everyone who believes in democracy, peace and humanity that should provide support to the civilians in Kobane.
The Christmas Day and the New Year is approaching. What is your message for the people whose hearts are with Kobane?
I celebrate the Christmas Day of the whole world. There were people who wanted to celebrate it here too but there is a war still going on, the ISIS has not allowed this. I hope 2015 will be a year of peace and fraternity. I wish a Happy New Year where there is no cruelty and all peoples and religions can live together and in peace. All those hearing our voice should support the resistance in Kobane in the New Year also, and provide any help they can for a new Kobane to be built in the wake of victory.
In an exclusive interview with the daily Radikal, Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) Spokesperson Polat Can says they are officially working with the International Coalition against ISIS, and their representative is in the Joint Operation Command Center.
Mr. Polat Can, you have been leading a fierce struggle against ISIS in Kobane for almost month. The world is watching Kobane. What is the situation there?
In the morning, the Kobane resistance will be on its 30th day and a new, long-winded process will start. Everyone knows that the resistance that YPG put up against ISIS is unprecedented by the forces in the region, especially in comparison to the Iraqi army. Cities ten times the size of Kobane surrendered to ISIS in a few days and those cities were not even besieged with considerable force. However, when they started attacking Kobane, they gathered their forces from around the region, from places including Minbij, Raqqah, Jarabulus, and Tal Hamis. What I mean by considerable force is tanks, cannons, heavy artillery and thugs whose numbers were in the tens of thousands. They wanted to capture Kobane within a week, but they did not succeed. Then, they wanted to say their Eid prayers in Kobane, and they could not do that either.
Since last week, they seized some streets in East Kobane, and now they want to capture the whole city, but they can’t advance. As they try to make their way, they sustain considerable losses. Especially within the last few days, both YPG attacks and the air strikes against ISIS terror led by international coalition forces have increased. They sustained major losses, many of their bodies and weapons passed into the hands of the YPG.
So, can we say that Kobane is relatively safe from danger?
No, saying this would be major heedlessness. Because ISIS still controls a large portion of Kobane. In addition, all of the villages in Kobane are occupied by ISIS. The resistance we started both within and around Kobane is ongoing. ISIS continues to receive renewed assistance. This war is a matter of life and death for us in every way. Thus, it is not yet possible to say that there is no danger.
You are saying that ISIS consists of tens of thousands of people and constantly renewed support. Your numbers are very small in comparison. Do you receive any kind of support?
Kobane has been under an embargo for the last year and a half. None of the major forces from other cantons have been able to reach Kobane. Kobane is resisting with its own efforts. Some Kurdish youth have been able to reach Kobane from the north of Kurdistan, especially through Suruç. Some arrived Kobane in small groups from the cantons of Afrin and Jazira. In addition, some of the youth from Kobane who were living abroad came to Kobane to protect their city. Some of the small groups from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are here under the name of “The Volcano of Euphrates.” This is all of our power and support. Unfortunately, we did not receive any additional military support, neither from the South, nor from other places.
What can you tell us about the air strikes by the coalition led by the United States?
For the last few days, the air strikes have been numerous and effective. We can clearly state that, had these attacks started a couple weeks ago, ISIS would not have been able to enter Kobane at all. ISIS would have been defeated 10-15 kilometers away from the city, and the city would not have turned into a war zone.
Alright, why did effective air strikes start one week before, and not two? Or, to ask in another way; What happened over the course of the last week that the strikes intensified?
The YPG’s relationship with the coalition, then, had just started recently. I will be blunt; some regional powers, especially Turkey was a serious obstacle. They made every effort to prevent any help from reaching us and to prevent the air strikes. At first, coalition jets could get no closer than 10 kilometers to the Turkish border, because Turkey would not allow it. Of course, there were other problems as well such as logistics and distance. The coalition had not yet made a serious decision to help the YPG.
Moreover, everyone thought that Kobane would fall in a week or two and be forgotten easily, but that did not happen. Kurds all around the world and their friends have risen up, supported by calls by world-famous intellectuals, and the resultant public opinion. This situation has affected shift on some countries’ policies towards us and created pressure for more effective and intensified air strikes and assistance for the YPG.
What sort of help? There are calls to provide arms to the YPG, has any such assistance been provided?
Up until now, we really can’t speak of the provision of arms to Kobane. The YPG is trying to bring certain arms which we require to Kobane through certain means. Because we are in serious need of arms. Not only for Kobane, but also for Jazira and Afrin. It’s important that we have fighters that come and fight, but it’s equally important that there be arms for them to use. It’s very difficult to fight using light weaponry against ISIS, who possess heavy weaponry. In the current situation, under such circumstances, we are throwing ourselves heroically in a fight against a force utilizing the latest weapons technology.
You mentioned the coalition’s being late. What sort of relationship does the YPG have with the US and other countries in the coalition? Can you elaborate on this?
Long before the Kobane resistance, we had relations with many countries including the USA. When Kobane was attacked, our relationship became more substantial and our exchange of ideas was realized in practice. In a way, urgent situation on the ground expedited some things. True partnership comes to realization when the situation is difficult and parties support each other.
Can we say there is an official relation between the YPG and the coalition?
Yes, we are acting in concert with international coalition forces. We are in direct contact with them, in terms of intelligence, on a military level, and in terms of air strikes.
I guess the coordinates for the airstrikes are coming from you then?
Yes. One of our special units in Kobane gives us coordinates, and the YPG transmits these coordinates to coalition forces, and then air strikes are directly realized. I would also like to mention that we also benefitted from the assistance of certain Kurdish factions, and this assistance is ongoing.
Some media outlets reported that these airstrikes are carried out through peshmergas?
No. We have a direct relation with the coalition without any intermediaries. YPG representative is physically ready in the joint operation command center and transmits the coordinates. Indeed, no airstrikes would be possible militarily without YPG taking part in the process because the clashes are ongoing and the situation on the ground changes rapidly.
But, I would like to acknowledge efforts of some Kurdish parties and individuals in regard, and their assistance for the YPG is still onging.
For a while, news agencies from around the world have been discussing the fall of Kobane. In fact, last week, some of them announced that the city fell. However, now the American press has started to applaud the resistance by the YPG, comparing it to the famous Alamo resistance. What is your take on American and other peoples’ support for Kobane?
We have 5-6 American fighters in YPG. One of them was wounded during combat. The fact that they are fighting for us is making us proud. There are fighters from other peoples as well. We are thankful for all the people who have been appealing to their politicians on our behalf to get their attention, to help us.
Especially some European armies and their commanders are working vigorously towards providing help to the YPG. Yes, right now YPG is fighting against ISIS, but in reality this fight belongs to the whole world; the world should fight ISIS. The fighters of ISIS are from 81 different countries which will be responsible for the terror that ISIS will unleash on us. Therefore, everyone should take responsibility. If Kobane falls, a possibility we never consider, ISIS will attack many other territories motivated with the fervent of so-called conquest. Hence, the victory of Kobane resistance means a victory for Kurdistan, coalition forces, USA and for every human being with a conscience.
The global public was first introduced to the YPG during the Sinjar Massacres against Yezidi Kurds. Now, the whole world is talking about the outstanding resistance of the YPG in Kobane. Can we consider the YPG as one of the main actors in the war against ISIS?
Kurds are the strongest people fighting on earth today, be it YPG or the Peshmergas, it is the Kurds! There is of course a surprising element to this: a relatively small number of young people, equipped with light arms, stage an unprecedented resistance against heavy weaponry. I state this cut and dried; if there was any army of even 500 thousand soldiers in our place, they wouldn’t be able to resist, even for one week. We don’t possess one thousandth of the resources and arms that those who lost to ISIS in Mosul, Tikrit and Anbar had. But we have a will and we have faith, and we protect our lands. This is why the coalition forces must consider YPG as one of the main actors in this war. Many high ranking officials of the coalition forces have congratulated us and expressed their admiration for our struggle.
Finally, is there anything else you would like to say to the whole world which has been watching you with admiration?
We respectfully salute all the peoples of the world who support the YPG, Kobane and the Kurds. We promise to millions of Kurds and the friends of the Kurds who can’t sleep, whose hearts beat for us this: We will fight until the last person falls, until our last bullet, our last drop of blood, and we will win this fight. We will embellish this resistance worthy of the Kurdish people with victory and dedicate it to first to the proud Kurdish people and to all the peoples of the world. The resistance against Nazis in Stalingrd and in Alamo is what is repeating in Kobane. We invite everyone to support Kobane, the YPG and Kurdistan until the day of victory.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kobane Kantonu Savunma Bakanı İsmet Şêx Hesen ile 9 Ekim tarihli röportaj
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
Kurdish city of Kobane in Northern Syria, also knows as Rojava, is under severe ISIS attacks since September 15.
Kurdish officials say ISIS militants have been waging an unprecedented attack on Kobane from east, south, and west with the American tanks, artilleries, and Humvees they had seized from Iraqi army in Mosul.
In a short interview Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) leader Salih Moslem appeals to the international community to support people of Kobane before it is too late.
Below is a detailed interview I conducted with the Premier of local Kobane Canton Anwar Moslem about the dire situation in the region:
Address: DHARA Community House, 6000 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22205
In solidarity with the displaced Ezidi victims of Shengal (Sinjar) and its surroundings, the American Ezidi Center in Washington DC and Virginia accordingly invites you to gather in a charitable event supporting these helpless victims.
As a non-profit organization working towards the Ezidi cause, The American Ezidi Center predominantly stresses the right to religious freedoms. Aiming to build bridges of understanding between the Ezidi communities and others, we promote awareness to increase tolerance, particularly, in times of great tragedy and crisis.
In view of the recent incidents taken place in the Kurdish region of Shingal towards the Ezidis, the American Ezidi Center aims to raise awareness in pursuit of constructing support to aid and assist not only the persecuted Ezidis but other persecuted religious minorities as well.
Given the magnitude of this catastrophic tragedy, we hope to shed light on this tragedy through knowledge.
Please join us in unity to spread awareness and support.
American Ezidi Center
American Ezidi Center is launching a Twitter Campaign on September 2, 2014 at 1 pm EST (5pm UTC) to draw attention to kidnapped Ezidi girls who are sold at markets by ISIS, as well as the dire situation of hundreds of thousands displaced Ezidi people that are living in tough conditions.
American Ezidi Center officials says they will announce the the hashtag shortly before the campaign starts.
Ciwanên Êzîdî jibo qîzên ku ji alîyê DAÎŞ ve hatine revandin û jibo Êzîdîyên ku li gelek cîhan bûne penaber, kempeyna piştgirîyê dide destpê kirin.
Ev kempeyna Twitter îro (02/09/2014) seet 8’ê êvarê bi dema Amedê’ destpê dike.
Bir grup Ezidi genc kacirilan Ezidi kizlari ve yerlerinden surulmus Ezidiler icin Twitter kampanyasi baslatiyor. Kampanya 2 Eylul Sali Turkiye saatiyle 20’de baslayacak
We discussed the latest conditions in Sinjar with the Spokesman of YPG Forces in Sinjar Polat Can and some media reports that the YPG hindered a US military operation.
Mr. Can, what are the conditions like in Sinjar? What happened to the Yezidis that were left behind?
The latest situation in Sinjar is as you know it, and the clashes taking place in the Rabia area are continuing. Up to this point we did not allow ISIS to capture Rabia. The real aim of the fight we’ve put up in Sinjar , Rabia and Sinun is to defend the people that are trapped in the Sinjar area, and to protect and rescue them of course.
We are putting up a great resistance in Rabia and Sinun, these two areas are two important central points.
Especially Rabia, it is a strategically central location because its ‘gates’ open right in-between Sinjar and Rojava, and in the same way it can also lead to South Kurdistan. In order to complete their encirclement of Sinjar, ISIS is attempting to seize Rabia. This way they want to cut-off Sinjar’s communication from the rest of the world and completely detach her from Kurdistan. Many large scale clashes took place and a lot of ISIS members were killed. Some of our friends were martyred. There are still violent clashes in the Sinun region. If you ask why Sinun and Rabia are such important zones, its because the security corridor that the YPG established is right here in between Sinjar and Rojava . Because of this, ISIS are attacking here with all their forces and want to take this area under their control. However, with the resistance we have started this month and which we are continuing, we would like to hold on to these places.
If we want to address the Sinjar region, it was as the United Kurdish Forces Hezen Hevbeş yên Kurdistani (HHK) that we made a statement. I want to highlight this. The Sinjar Mountain is completely under the control of the United Kurdish Forces.
“FOR NOW, THERE ARE NO KURDISH CIVILIANS IN DANGER ON THE SINJAR MOUNTAIN”
These United Kurdish Forces, who are they, who do they consist off?
YPG, HPG, Yekineyen Berxwedana Şengale (Şengal Resistance Units) and a small part our Peshmerga brothers. These forces are fighting in coordination together and have complete control over the Sinjar area. All the Yezidis that had fled or were in hiding have been reached. Some of them have crossed over to Rojava.
Our forces moved to Mount Sinjar soon after the arrival of civilians fleeing ISIS. Later on, PKK fighters coming from Qandil Mountains also joined us. We escorted Yazidi Kurds down from the mountain and into safety in Rojava. With the help of the YPG, United Kurdish Forces and the Jazira Canton, more than 220,000 Yezidis have crossed over to Rojava, some have decided to cross over to South [Iraqi] Kurdistan from Feshkhabur via this safe passage we provided. Some 30,000 Yazidi Kurds are still in Rojava, and half of them are staying in Newroz Camp in Derik which was prepared by the local Kurdish administration, some others in cities like Amude and Tirbesipi. Presently we are not aware of any Kurds that are in danger on Mount Sinjar.
“SOME HAVE JOINED ISIS FROM THE IRAQI ARMY”
As the YPG, what do you think has made ISIS so effective? Specialists are claiming that ISIS does not have many supporters, so how does such a group organise large scale and simultaneous attacks?
Let’s put it this way, some Iraqi soldiers, especially Sunni ones, all work for ISIS. We want this to be known. The recent attacks on Sinjar was not only by ISIS, but also by Arabs from the villages neighbouring Sinjar. Many Arabs in Sinjar that were claiming to be the “friends of Kurds” are taking part in these attacks. The Arabs in these areas who are supposedly the neighbours and relatives of Kurds, are now joining ISIS. Those who were promoting Arab chauvinism are fighting in Mosul and Tikrit today against the Kurds, and they are increasing in numbers. Especially those who joined from the Iraqi army, their membership meant new weapons for ISIS, and naturally, this made them stronger.
Furthermore, because ISIS believe looting to be halal, those who joined them did so with the excuse that they were attacking the properties of infidels, but they stole the property and assets of our people.
As you know, US announced that there was no need for a rescue mission. According to your sources, how many people are stranded on the mountains and in what condition are they?
The Kurds who are on the mountain are the Kurds who have refused to leave Sinjar. ISIS wasn’t able to enter every village and some of the ones they did manage to enter, we took back in a day. The holy places of the Yezidi people are also under our control; like holy Grave of Sharfaddin. This place is also a target for ISIS however, until now we have not allowed them to get close. Kurds in these villages and the ones currently staying on the security corridor have not left. It is not possible for me to give you an exact number but a large majority of these people are still here.
“THERE ARE KURDS WHO HAVE BEEN CAUGHT IN BETWEEN THIS CONFLICT. WE NEED A SAFETY OPERATION FOR THEM”
How do you evaluate the announcements made by the US administration? And I would like to ask you this, was there any agreements made between your forces and the US forces and was there any co-ordinated joint efforts?
On August 12, we announced the same thing as the Pentagon; that the Kurds in Sinjar Mountain were safe. I would also like to make it known that, according to the information we have received, there are some villages which fall to the south of Sinjar that has been caught in between this war. We also have some people who have fallen into the hands of ISIS, and some who have been kidnapped and are being held hostage. If a military operation is needed, then I believe it should be for these Kurds.
There is news that the village of Kocho is under siege and that the people are being forced to convert to Islam, is this true?
Yes, this is true. These villages exist and they are situated towards the south of Sinjar City. The people that reached the Sinjar Mountain are good, they are in areas we control and free from ISIS. But water, food, medicine and other human necessities you can imagine are needed. Whoever wants to leave can do so with the help of United Kurdish Forces or the Jazira Canton Officials. We help them cross to Rojava or South Kurdistan. For this we requested international support and aid. We also asked the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government for help in providing aid for these people. We requested doctors, we also requested for the wounded and the ill to be transferred and treated. I will repeat it again, we need humanitarian support.
“WE HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UK AND THE USA”
I would like to ask you about your relationship with the USA. According to reports by some newspapers, the YPG hindered the US forces which caused altercations between YPG and the US, but then tensions were eased by the intervention of the Peshmerga. What actually happened?
It’s a complete lie and has been fabricated to create propaganda as no such thing occurred. We have a good relationship with both the US and the UK. Infact, with our help on the ground their helicopters delivered a lot of aid. We do not need to mention names of the officials that we are meeting, but there is no problem between us. All news in regards to this has no basis.
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