PYD Leader Salih Moslem on US Air Strikes against ISIS in Syria

Kurdish Woman Kobane

In this brief interview Salih Moslem, Cochair of PYD express his party’s position on US and coalition air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria.

Salih_Moslem

Mr. Moslem says they consider these attacks a positive step for the fight against ISIS.

“I spoke with many Kurds in Syria. They are happy about the attacks because they see that they are not alone in their fight against ISIS.

Moslem states that as Syrian Kurds they would like to be a part of this effort too.

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You can follow me on Twitter for updates from Kurds in Syria, Turkey and Iraq @mutludc

For feedback, question and interview requests: mciviroglu@gmail.com or +1202-241-0506

Kobane Appeals to International Community for Immediate Help

Kurdish Woman Kobane

Mutlu Civiroglu https://twitter.com/mutludc September 20, 2014

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.

A female YPG fighter in Kobane (YPG Media Center)

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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.

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Below is a detailed interview I conducted with the Premier of local Kobane Canton Anwar Moslem about the dire situation in the region:

Enwer Mislim

https://civiroglu.net/2014/09/19/kobane_isis/

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You can follow me on Twitter for updates from Kurds in Syria, Turkey and Iraq @mutludc

For feedback, question and interview requests: mciviroglu@gmail.com or +1202-241-0506

An Exclusive Interview with Premier of Kobane Anwar Moslem About Ongoing ISIS Attacks

Moslem: International Community Should Support Kobane Against ISIS

Mutlu Civiroglu https://twitter.com/mutludc Kobane_YPG

Mr Anwar Moslem, Premier of Kobane Canton in Rojava, over the recent days, the ISIS has been waging remarkably severe attacks on Kobane and its surrounding villages. First of all, please give us the latest about what has been going on in Kobane?

Enwer Mislim

Anwar Moslem: Yes, that’s right. It is almost a year a devastating war has been waging on Kobane in order to seize it. But since two days ago, they have been waging an unprecedented attack on Kobane from east, south, and west with the tanks, artilleries, and Humvees they had seized in Mosul. They have been doing their very best to make Kobane give up. They have an intention of committing a massacre in Kobane like how they made people of Shengal flee, how they were massacred, how women were seized and enslaved, how kids were killed; the ISIS wants to inflict the same predicament upon Kobane. That’s why a remarkable resistance and bravery, led by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), is being waged against those extremist forces. But unfortunately, their heavy weaponry have caused many problems for us. Our people’s resistance, however, has been noticeable until the moment we are having this conversation.

How long people of Kobane will be able to resist in front of those heavy weaponry shown on videos?

Anwar Moslem: Kobane’s resistance had been substantiated before, and it is going on again. They are using the very sophisticated and developed American weaponry e.g. tanks, Humvees, and long-range mortars they seized in Mosul. People of Kobane are saying, as they had frequently said before, “we will resist till the last one of us gets martyred.” Indeed, there has been a historic YPG resistance; it is not sufficient, though. They are in desperate need of an international support. Kobane Canton needs support of all Kurds living inside or outside Kurdistan. The situation is extremely dangerous. If something happens to Kobane, all those who claim they care about human rights and lives will be held accountable.

You pointed to an international support. A special meeting was held in Paris; The US president, Barack Obama, has released several speeches talking about a military operation against the ISIS. Have you ever received any assistance from these forces thus far? Or, have you had any meeting with them asking them to help you?

Anwar Moslem: I am afraid we have not received any assistance till this moment. Despite what had been agreed upon in Paris and the US president Obama’s emphasis upon the attack against the ISIS, nothing has been dispatched to us so far. We hope the international community and especially the USA, Russia, France, and the UK will get started with attacking the ISIS as soon as possible. The ISIS is growing so fast and if this trend does not stop, they will be too strong to be defeated by people; and, that’s when we will witness a huge, bloody massacre. We hope that those states will come to help us through attacking the ISIS as soon as possible.

There are some accusations spreading in Kurdish media based upon which Turkey has been helping the ISIS, and a train had been sent to the border carrying assistance to the ISIS. What do you have to say in this regard?

Anwar Moslem: Based on the intelligence we got two days before the breakout of the current war, trains full of forces and ammunition, which were passing by north of Kobane, had an-hour-and-ten-to-twenty-minute-long stops in these villages: Salib Qaran, Gire Sor, Moshrefat Ezzo. There are evidences, witnesses, and videos about this. What attracts one’s attention is why the ISIS is strong only in Kobane’s east? Why is it not strong neither in its south nor in west? Since these trains stopped in those villages located in east of Kobane, we guess they had brought ammunition and additional force for the ISIS.

Well, where are those videos? How can public opinion get access to them?

Anwar Moslem: Most of our witnesses are the ones forced to leave those villages. If news agencies come to the region, we will help them meet those IDPs. If members of international organizations come to visit Kobane, they will be able to meet all those who have seen the trains. To make trains stop in villages controlled by the ISIS persuades one that something wrong is going on.

There are many reports about a couple of villages seized by the ISIS. I want to know if there is a tactic to leave those villages or not. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the number of those villages is twenty. How many villages the YPG have lost so far, and what are the reasons for these losses?

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Anwar Moslem: we know how barbaric the ISIS has attacked civilians in those villages. It has been shelling those villages in order to force residents leave their villages. According to the YPG, 15 villages have been left so far whereas the resistance is still going on. Those who have left their villages are afraid of the ISIS atrocious methods in treating civilians. That’s why, they have fled to Kobane. But a severe response will be waged soon.

How far the ISIS is from Kobane city?

Anwar Moslem: They are 25 to 30 kilometers far from Kobane.

You addressed the world community. What do you have to say to Kurds?

Anwar Moslem: Kobane is the manifestation of Kurds’ will. Kobane is a part of Rojava. Kobane is a part of Kurdistan. Kobane’s collapse is Kurdish people’s collapse. And, we do not want it to collapse. We are calling upon those from Kobane living outside to come back to Kobane, center of honor and bravery, in order to protect their own people. We are calling on all Kurdish people, especially those from Northern Kurdistan [Kurdistan of Turkey), to head towards Kobane and protect their own brothers and sisters again, like they had done it before.

We are calling upon Kurds of Eastern and Southern Kurdistan [Iranian and Iraqi Kurdistan] to come and participate in this resistance. Whoever of honor and conscience, based upon their opportunity, via demonstrations, via holding protests in front of embassies of those countries helping the ISIS, they can help Kobane. These activities will inspire our girls and boys in the battlefield.

Based upon some Kurdish news agencies, those from Kobane living outside and want to go back to Kobane are facing hardships in the border line by the Turkish authorities. Do you confirm these news?

Anwar Moslem: Yes, that’s right. It regularly happens. But our people from Northern Kurdistan will also join us despite the difficulties created by the Turkish authorities. Those who want to cross the border to Kobane, they can do it one way or another despite all those hardships. But Turkish authorities must realize that if the ISIS seizes Kobane, they will soon head to Turkey. Turkish officials must take this fact into account and help Kobane and let Kobane’s boys and girls cross the borders to their own city.

I want to know the number of casualties. How many YPG fighters have lost their lives? How many of the ISIS members have been killed? Yesterday, there were some news about the high number of the ISIS casualties in the Manbij Hospital. Give us some information in this regard, please.

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Anwar Moslem: That’s right. YPG’s heroic resistance has inflicted a high number of casualties upon them, not only in Manbij but also in Tel Abyad as well. Today, some of their wounded members were crossed into Turkey in order to get cured. We have had 8 martyrs until this moment. But, tens of their members have been killed so far.

How can it be possible? I mean, despite all their heavy attacks, why the YPG’s casualties are not high?

Anwar Moslem: The ISIS wages attacks with high numbers upon a given place. And, the YPG members resist. Since they are in an offensive and we are in a defensive position, despite our light weaponry, we inflict high casualties upon them without having many martyrs. And, sometimes we do tactical withdrawals.

What about Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG’s) support. Have you ever received any assistance from the KRG?

Anwar Moslem: We hope to be heard by the KRG. We have not received any support up until now. But we are looking forward to receiving help from our brothers in Southern Kurdistan. They have already witnessed what happened to Ezidi Kurds in Shengal [Sinjar]. Let us not allow the same massacres to take place in Kobane. That’s why we hope people of Southern Kurdistan will join this campaign in defense of Kobane.

My last question is, as the president of Kobane Canton, you visit villages. I want to know about people’s spirit in Kobane and its surrounding villages.

Anwar Moslem: Despite the heavy war going on, people’s spirit is noticeably high. The vast majority of them say they will continue their resistance before they make these attacks fail. But unfortunately, there is a small number of people who are scared of ISIS atrocities. They want to leave Kobane but a whopping majority of people, including Arabs and Turkmens, have been resisting against the ISIS and their spirit is remarkably impressive.

Again, we are repeating our call upon international forces especially USA, UK and France and others to help Kobane against the ISIS whose only goal is to annihilate all dissident peoples and religions.

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You can follow me on Twitter for updates from Kurds in Syria, Turkey and Iraq @mutludc

For feedback, question and interview requests: mciviroglu@gmail.com or +1202-241-0506

Enwer Mislim: IŞİD Kobanê’de İkinci Bir Şengal Katliamı Yaratmak İstiyor

Sayın Enwer Mislim, son birkaç gündür IŞİD çok büyük bir güçle Kobanê’ye ve köylerine saldırıyor. Son saldırılar hakkında biraz bilgi verir misiniz, neler oluyor Kobanê’de?

Enwer Mislim

IŞİD, Kobanê’ye girmek için zaten bir yıla yakın bir süredir ağır saldırılıyor gerçekleştiriyordu. Fakat iki gün önce tekrar saldırmaya başladıklarında bu sefer buraya daha büyük bir güç yığdılar. Tanklar, toplar ve Musul’dan getirdikleri Hummer ve silahlarla Kobanê’ye yöneldiler. Kobanê’nin doğusundan, batısından ve kuzeyinden saldırarak bütün güçlerini ortaya koyup Kobanê’yi düşürmek istiyorlar. Burada bir katliam gerçekleştirmek istiyorlar. Şengal’de çocukları öldüren, kadınları kaçıran IŞİD, aynı şeyi Kobanê’de de yinelemek istiyor. YPG ve halk da bu radikal güçler karşısında onurlu bir direniş örneği sergiliyor. Fakat kullandıkları ağır silahlar yüzünden biraz zor durumda kaldığımız söylenebilir.

Kobane_Civilians

YPG’nin yayınladığı videolarda da görülen o ağır silahlar karşısında Kobanê halkı ne kadar direnebilir ki?

Kobanê halkı daha önce de direniş gücünü ispatlamıştı zaten ve bu direniş devam ediyor şimdi. IŞİD’i daha da vahşileştiren asıl şey, Musul’da ele geçirdikleri Amerikan silahları. Tanklar, toplar, Hummer ve uzun namlulu silahlarla saldırıyorlar. Kobanê halkı kanlanın son damlasına kadar direneceklerini söylüyorlar. Evet, direniş olarak büyük bir direniş söz konusu fakat bu tek başına yetmiyor, uluslararası güçlerin desteği lazım. Yine aynı şekilde Kürdistan ve dünyanın dört bir yanındaki Kürtlerin desteği lazım. Yani büyük bir tehlike söz konusu ve eğer Kobanê’de bir katliam geçekleşirse insan haklarını savunan kuruluşlar da bunun sorumlusu olurlar. Şengal’deki acıyı atlatmadan, bize Kobanê acısı yaşatmak istiyorlar.

YPH_Jazaa

Uluslararası bir destekten bahsediyorsunuz. Paris’te özel bir toplantı yapıldı, ABD Başkanı Obama’nın da IŞİD’e saldırdıkları yönünde birkaç defa açıklaması oldu. Uluslararası güçlerden size bir yardım gelmedi mi şimdiye kadar ya da bu uluslararası güçler ile destek için görüşmeler yapıyor musunuz?

Ne yazık ki bu saate kadar da herhangi bir yardım yapılmış değil. Paris’te yapılan ittifak ve Sayın Obama’nın açıklamaları bizi umutlandırdı fakat henüz ortalıkta bir şey yok. Başta Amerika olmak üzere, uluslaraası güçlerden, Rusya’dan, Fransa’dan, İngiltere’den Kobanê’ye destek olmalarını istiyoruz. IŞİD gittikçe büyüyor, eğer bir an önce pratiğe geçip IŞİD’e saldırmazlarsa, hiçbir güç daha sonra IŞİD’i durduramaz ve büyüyecek bir IŞİD çok büyük katliamlar gerçekleştirir.

Özellikle de Kürt basınında yer alan bazı haberlere göre Türkiye aktif bir şekilde IŞİD’e yardım ediyor. Sınıra gelen bir tren ile IŞİD’e yardım gönderildiği iddia ediliyor. Neler diyeceksiniz bu konuda, doğru mu bu iddialar?

Bize ulaşan bazı bilgilere göre bu yeni saldırılar başlamadan iki gün önce, Kobanê ve kuzeyi arasındaki bölgede, IŞİD’in sığınmaya çalıştığı bir köy var. Sınırdaki birkaç köyde Türk trenleri 10 dakika, 20 dakika gibi durmuşlar ve bazı yükler indirilmiş. Görgü tanıkları var, görüntüler var. Burada herkesin dikkatin bir noktaya çekmek istiyorum, IŞİD neden Kobanê’nin kuzeyinde ya da batısında değil de sadece doğusunda kuvvetli? Tren orada durduğu için IŞİD’e oradan yardım yapıldığı yönünde şüphelerimiz var.

Bahsettiğiniz bu görüntüler nerede? Kamuoyu bunlara nerden ulaşabilir?

Oralara yakın köylerde yaşayan insanlarımızın elinde sözkonusu görüntüler var. Fakat onların dört bir tarafa dağıldı. Yakın bir zamanda basın ile görüşmeler gerçekleştireceğiz, onlar da bunu dile getirebilirler. Uluslararası yardım kuruluşların yöneticileri de gelip trenin orada durduğuna tanıklık eden insanlarla görüşebilir. Hangi sebeple olursa olsun fark etmez, trenin IŞİD’in yakınında olduğu bir köyde durması akıllara IŞİD’e destek ihtimalini getiriyor.

IŞİD’in eline geçen köyler konusunda farklı söylentiler var. Bu IŞİD karşısında bir yenilgi mi yoksa YPG’nin elinden çıkan bu köyler IŞİD’e karşı bir taktik mi? Suriye İnsan Hakları İzleme Örgütü, terk edilen köylerin sayısının 20 olduğunu söylüyor. Sizin elinizdeki bilgilere göre YPG’nin denetiminden kaç köy çıkmış ve bunun sebebleri neler?

Hepimiz biliyoruz ki IŞİD masum sivil insanları kesiyor, bu doğal olarak bir korku dalgası yaratıyor insanlarda. Yine IŞİD, siviller köyler, boşaltılsın diye, köylerin üzerine toplarla saldırıyor. YPG’nin elinden çıkan köy sayısı 15’dir ama direniş devam ediyor. İnsanlar IŞİD’in insanlık dışı saldırılarından korktuğu için köyleri boşaltıyorlar aslında. Kobanê’ye doğruya gidiyorlar. Fakat en kısa zamanda bize yapılacak yardım ile saldırıları en iyi şekilde püskürtmeyi planlıyoruz. Başta Amerika olmak üzere uluslararası güçlere bir kez daha seslenmek istiyorum, Fransa, İngiltere, Türkiye, IŞİD’in yok etmek isteyen bütün devletler bize yardım etmeliler.

Bazı okurlarımız soruyor, IŞİD şu an Kobanê’nin merkezine kaç km yakın?

25-30 kilometrelik bir mesafe aramızda var.

Uluslararası güçlere seslendiniz, peki Kürtlere neler diyeceksiniz?

Kobanê Kürtlerin iradesini temsil ediyor. Kobanê, Rojava’nın, Kürdistan’ın bir parçasıdır. Kobanê’nin düşüşü Kürdistanilerin yenilgisi olur, bunun için biz var gücümüzle direniyoruz. Sizin aracılığınızla başta dışardaki Kobanêli gençlere sesleniyorum, dönüp kendi halklarını korusunlar. Yine aynı şekilde Kürdistanlı genç kardeşlerimiz de, daha önce yaptıkları gibi tekrar glip Kobanê’ye sahip çıksınlar. Kürdistan’ın doğusundan ve güneyinden insanlar da yardım elini uzatıp, bu direniş katılmalılar. Nerede olursa olsun, herkes kendi yerinde, kendi imkanları doğrultusunda bir şeyler yapmalı. IŞİD’e yardım eden devletlerin konsolosluklarına gidip bu yardımı kesmeleri yönünde baskılar yapılmalı. Bize destek için bir kamuoyu oluşturulmalı. Dışardaki insanlarımızdan bunu bekliyoruz.

Bazı Kürt siteleri Kobanê’ye dönmek isteyen insanların sınırda Türkiyeli yetkililer tarafından engellendiğini yazıyorlar. Bu iddialar doğru mu?

Bazen bu tür sıkıntılar yaşanıyor, doğrudur. Fakat şu an bir savaş hali söz konusu ve gelmek isteyen insanlar Türkiye’deki yetkililer sorun çıkarsa da bir şekilde geçebilirler. Fakat biz Türkiye’deki yetkililerin, IŞİD’in Ortadoğu’da bir salgın hastalık gibi yayıldığını bilmelerini istiyoruz. Eğer IŞİD bu mıntıkayı ele geçirirse bir sonraki hedefi Türkiye olur. Bunun için Türk yetkiler bir kez daha oturup hesap kitap yapmalı ve Kobanê Kantonu’na destek çıkmalılar, yani gençlerin Kobanê’ye geçmesine de izin vermeliler.

Peki YPG’den kaç kişi yaşamını yitirdi ve IŞİD’den kaç kişi öldürüldü? Dün, Minbic hastanelerine birçok IŞİD üyesinin cesedinin getirildiği, birçok yaralınıın olduğu yönünde haberler vardı. Biraz da bu konuda bilgi verir misiniz?

Bu saate kadar 8 şehit verdik. 5 kişiyi dün ilan etmiştik, bugün de 3 kişi şehit oldu. Takip ettiğimiz kadarıyla ve köylerden bize ulaşan bilgiler doğrultusunda onlardan yüzden daha fazla kişi öldürüldü diyebiliriz. Büyük gruplar halinde geliyorlar fakat YPG direnişiyle bozguna uğratılıyorlar. Sadece Minbic’de değil, Tilabyad’de de kayıplar verdiler. Kimilerini de Türkiye’ye geçirip muayene ettirmek istediler.

Askeri olarak bu büyük bir başarı fakat bu büyük saldırıları YPG nasıl oluyor da az kayıpla püskürtebiliyor?

Onlar YPG noktalarına yüzlerce kişiyle saldırıyor ve YPG de savunmasını yapıyor. Elimizde hafif silahlar var fakat yine de sonuç alabiliyoruz. Biz savunma pozisyonunda olduğumuz için az sayıda şehit veriyoruz, bazen de taktiksel olarak geri çekiliyoruz ve sonra mevcut duruma göre hareket ediyoruz.

Peki Kürdistan Bölgesi Hükümeti’nden size herhangi bir destek geldi mi?

Şu ana kadar herhangi bir destek söz konusu değil fakat sesimizi duysunlar, yardımlarını bekliyoruz. Güneyli kardeşlerimiz Şengal’deki acının ne kadar büyük bir acı olduğunu çok iyi biliyorlar. Aynı şeylerin Kobanê’de yaşanmasını istemeyen kardeşlerine yardım elini uzatıp seferberliğe katılmalarını umuyoruz.

Son olarak şunu sormak istiyorum: Kanton yönetiminden biri olarak köylerin arasında dolaşıyorsunuz, halkın morali nasıl, neler hissediyorlar?

Bölgede bir savaş söz konusu fakat yine de halkın morali yüksek. Sonuna kadar direneceklerini söylüyorlar. Çok az sayıda insanımız IŞİD’in vahşetinden korkup kendi yerlerini terk ettiklerini, terk edeceklerini söylüyorlar. Fakat genel olarak Kobanê halkı büyük bir direniş örneği sergiliyor. Kobanê’de yaşayan herkes, hatta Türkmenler ve Araplar da IŞİD’e karşı YPG saflarında savaşıyorlar. Halkları, dinleri yok etmek isteyen IŞİD’e karşı bütün uluslararası güçleri, Amerika’yı, Fransa’yı, İngiltere’yi, Türkiye’yi bir kez daha bizimle dayanışmaya davet ediyoruz.

Ezidis Need Your Support

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.

Following the Peacock

Yezidis_Peacock

A first-hand material film on the Yezidis of Iraq, produced by Dr. Eszter Spat from Central European University of Budapest.

This anthropological documentary introduces the Yezidis, a  little-known religious Kurdîsh minority of Iraq, and follows the tour  of their most sacred object, the Standard of the Peacock through the  settlements of Sinjar Mountain, where the traditional way of life and  customs are undergoing a fast change, due to the political, economic,  and social shifts of the last decades.

Interview with YPG Spokesman Polat Can about Yezidi People in Sinjar

 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.

Polat Cano

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.

YPG Spokesman Polat Can and Peshmerga Commanders in Rabia, Mosul

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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For updates from Kurds in Syria, Turkey and Iraq follow me on Twitter: @mutludc

For feedback, question and interview requests: mciviroglu@gmail.com or +1202-241-0506

EU Countries Agree to Arm Kurdish Forces in Iraq

EU ministers agreed today to back the arming of beleaguered Iraqi Kurd fighters by key member states, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said after three hours of talks. One diplomat said the agreement was “strong and sends the desired political message.” VoR’s Brendan Cole has more.

In the strongest statement of British support for the Iraqi Kurds yet, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said today that the UK would consider any request for British arms from Kurdish forces. Downing Street said no such request has yet been made.

It comes as European Union ministers agreed to helping arm Iraq’s Kurds to halt the relentless advance by Islamic State (IS, or ISIS) militants.

The United States and France have already begun to supply weapons to the Kurds and the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius criticised a lack of action by the West.

He said: “The objective is to rebalance the fight, because the terrorists have highly sophisticated weapons that they took from Iraqi forces, and these are weapons of US origin. And so we don’t want to wash our hands of this we want to help the Kurds, the Iraqis, to avoid massacres.”

Amid warnings of a genocide, several European countries as well as the United States have dropped aid to the imperiled Yazidi population which is being targeted by the IS militants.

US President Barack Obama said the US had broken the siege on Mount Sinjar and saved many lives.

Mr Obama said: “The bottom line is the situation on the mountain has greatly improved and Americans should be very proud of our efforts. Because of the skill and professionalism of our military and the generosity of our people, we broke the ISIL siege of Mount Sinjar, we helped vulnerable people reach safety and we helped save many innocent lives.” 

Amid the debate for arming Kurds fighting in Iraq came support from all around the world.

Jabar Hassan is director of the Iraqi Association in London and he believes that arms would be welcomed.

He told VoR: “It does enable the Kurdish forces that can be depended on. What sort of weapons they will get I don’t know, it seems they are in desperate need of air cover and light tanks to defend themselves.”

But there is doubt as to whether simply arming Kurdish forces would be enough to stop ISIS.

Shoshank Joshi is a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute. He told VoR: “Depending on the nature of the support the Kurds, receive it could upset the balance between Kirbil and Baghdad.”

“Mission creep is part of the mission”

The West claims it would not contribute to boots on the ground but already there are more than 1,000 US military personnel deployed to Iraq.

But the ability of the West to withdraw from Iraq is of course key.

Joshi said: “To some extent, mission creep is part of the mission. The US has said we are not going to step in and save Iraq until there is political reform. We are now seeing that more inclusive government taking place before our eyes.”

Hopes have grown for a more inclusive Iraqi government after the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki resignedand conceded power to Haider al Abadi.

Washington-based Kurdish affairs analyst Mutlu Civiroglu told VoR: “I am not optimistic, the problem was not Maliki, the problem is one of democracy. The picture is more serious, it is a culture of democracy.”

The Peshmerga fighters currently used dated Soviet weapons and would welcome an influx of hardware and expertise from the west.

Its long term goal however – in addition to seeing off the threat of the Islamic State – could be seen as a desire to strengthen its resources for an independent Kurdistan.

Mutlu Civiroglu told VoR: “The Kurds are trying to create a joint front. As far as Kurdish independence is concerned, Kurds want it, it is no secret, they have the right to demand an independent state. They fear that the Iraqi state is not capable of protecting their interests.”

The offensive by the self-styled Islamic State, has drived an estimated 1.2 million Iraqis from their homes.

The UN has declared the situation in the country a “level three emergency”, its highest level of humanitarian crisis.

(AFP, VoR) 
Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/uk/news/2014_08_15/Britain-ready-to-supply-Kurds-with-arms-8256/

How Kurdish YPG Has Successfully Fought Off the Islamic State

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         Female YPG fighters

As the Islamic State has continued its shocking military advances throughout Syria and Iraq recently, much has been written about its seemingly unstoppable battle capabilities.

But there’s one force that has scored a number of successes against its forces: the Syrian Kurdish militia known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG.

Fierce battles are raging between the Islamic State and the Kurds on several fronts extending from the Syrian border town of Rabia to Sinjar and, further south, from Kirkuk to Jalawla. The Sunni militants have been defeating reputable Kurdish peshmergas in some important battles, forcing them to withdraw.

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To read the rest of the article, please visit the following link at Vice:

https://news.vice.com/article/how-kurdish-militias-have-successfully-fought-off-the-islamic-state

Şêx Mûrşid Maşûq Xeznewî ser Rewşa Kurdên Êzîdî Dipeyîve

photo 4

Sheikh Murshid Mashuq Khaznawi, a prominent Syrian Kurdish religious leader, in a speech in Oslo, Norway calls for full solidarity and support for Yezidi Kurds.

Khaznawi condemns massacres ISIS commit against Yezidi Kurds and denounce its interpretation of the Islam

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( Video by Aldar Doskî )