Major Reasons of ISIS Offensive on Kobane?


ISIS attacks against Kobane (Ain al-Arab) very significant for several reasons:

First, ISIS wants to expand its control over a larger geography but Kobane in the middle of ISIS dominated areas, stands as a big obstacle in front of this goal. ISIS currently controls Girsespi (Tab Abyad), Jarablus and Raqqah. It desperately wants Kobane to connect the areas under its control and seize the border gate with Turkey as well.

ISIS also wants to cut Kobane from Kurdish Mountain Region which Afrin is the center and Jazira (Hasakah). As of now, moving between three Kurdish Cantons is difficult. If Kobane falls to ISIS, the situation for Kurds will get much worse. Such a development will also demoralize Kurds psychologically, and will provide advantage to pursue its further goals. ISIS does not hesitate to use any means to seize the city that’s why they even cut off the water of the city.

One other factor to remember is that Kobane is the first city in Rojava to be freed from Assad regime. Therefore, it has a special meaning for Kurds in Rojava. Taking control of such an important city will enable Kobane to seize new territories from east and west direction.

Such an ISIS achievement will also be a message for Kurds that ISIS [and its regional supporters] will not allow Kurdish autonomy in Syria.

ISIS Attack on Kobane and Hasakah

In the long run reaching Hasakah is one of major goals of ISIS. But, Hasakah currently controlled by three different forces YPG (in Kurdish side of the city), Assad and opposition. So, it is not that easy for ISIS to control Hasakah, but they certainly want to expand their control in Syria.

Hasakah City is the administrative center of the Hasakah governorate. It is an important road junction near the Turkish and Iraqi borders. It is also an important agricultural region; wheat, rice, cotton etc. It is also close to oil fields in north (Ramalan area). In a way, controlling Hasakah will provide any group an important advantage over the others.

However, given YPG’s superior military capabilities, discipline and large popular support makes it very difficult for ISIS to defeat YPG and control Kobane.


Sidelined Syrian Kurds Take Geneva II Protest to Twitter

A hashtag calling for a Kurdish delegation at next week’s peace talks became the top trend on Twitter on Thursday and early Friday.

UNITED NATIONS (TRNS) – Activists frustrated with the marginalization of Syrian Kurdish delegates at the upcoming Geneva II peace talks took to Twitter this week, briefly making “#KurdsMustBeInGeneva2″ the number one trending topic worldwide on the social network.

A screenshot captured Friday afternoon in New York shows the hashtag as the second most popular worldwide

In recent months, Syrian Kurds have engaged in fierce battles with both Assad forces and, increasingly, extremist opposition groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, in an effort to retain control over their ethnic homeland.

But instead of being invited to the Geneva II conference, Syria’s Kurds were asked to fold their delegation into the single opposition group that was designed to feature the Istanbul-based Syrian National Coalition (SNC).

That decision threatens the viability of any political solution to the three-year civil war, Kurdish policy analyst Mutlu Civiroglu told TRNS by telephone

“In the future, if there is going to be an agreement, how will they implement this agreement in the Kurdistan region of Syria? If Kurds are not there, Geneva is not an agreement.”

Civiroglu described Syrian Kurdistan’s diverse government as a model of compromise for the war-torn country, a vision not articulated by the Assad government, the politically isolated SNC, or the wide array of Islamic militants flooding the battlefield.

The model in Western Kurdistan is “a great example of a future Syria,” Civiroglu said. “The administration is not only composed of Kurds, but Arabs, Armenians and religious minorities.”

While 2013 saw a sharp increase in attacks against religious minorities, including Syria’s Christian population, Civiroglu stressed that Syrian Kurdistan was not characterized by such violence.

In the rest of Syria, “people are beheaded, churches are demolished,” he said. “Not in Syrian Kurdistan.”

With the National Coordination Body (NCB)’s decision on Thursday to skip Geneva II, the very presence of any meaningful opposition groups at the peace conference appears to hinge on the SNC’s decision.

But regardless of the SNC’s final vote on attending Geneva II, the group remains plagued by internal disagreement, drawing into question its political influence and relevance to combatants.

“Meanwhile, the real power on the ground is not recognized.” Civiroglu said.

Asked who started the #KurdsMustBeInGeneva2 hashtag and helped it become the top trend among the social network’s roughly 250 million active users, Civiroglu denied knowing the movement’s creator, saying it was “just the Kurds.”