Kurd leaders in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) have called for international help, including US air strikes, against ISIS (‘Islamic State’) jihadists who are mounting their biggest offensive yet in the region, seizing many villages and advancing on the city of Kobanê from three sides.
Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for the PYD (Democratic Union Party) said Kurdish fighters had withdrawn from or lost around 20 villages today, evacuating the civilians. ISIS are attacking with heavy weapons and US tanks captured in Mosul, northern Iraq, in June.
“They are attacking Kobanê and want to control it and carry out a massacre there just like what happened [to Yezidis] in Sinjar where people had to leave their homes, where people were killed, women were abducted, children were killed,” Khalil said.
Redur Xelil, spokesman for the YPG, the pro-Kurd defence force, told Reuters: “We call on world powers to move to halt this barbaric assault by ISIS”.
Last month the US carried out air strikes to help halt an ISIS advance on Erbil in South Kurdistan (northern Iraq). Many Kurds are calling for more air strikes now to defend Kobanê, a city bordering Turkey whose population has swollen to half a million from influxes of Syrian civil war refugees.
Idris Nassan, deputy foreign representative of Kobanê canton, told The Independent that ISIS had made its first rocket attacks on the city today and that its forces were between 12 and 18 miles away. He said that, “unfortunately, the world cares nothing about what happens in Kobanê”.
Today the KCK Executive Council issued a new call to the people of North Kurdistan (Turkey) to join the Kobanê resistance. “The youth of North Kurdistan must go to Kobanê and join the historic, honourable resistance” it said. “Kobanê is resisting heroically for the Kurdish people and all the peoples of the Middle East”
The KCK blamed Turkey for supporting the jihadists: “ISIS receives encouragement from the Turkish state’s attitude as it mounts these attacks. Turkey completes the encirclement of Kobanê from the north. It is also continuing to provide arms and logistic support to ISIS and is an accomplice in the massacres carried out by ISIS.”
The KCK compared the Kobanê resistance to the Battle of Stalingrad, which became a turning point in World War 2 leading to the ultimate defeat of the Nazis: “The people of North Kurdistan must say ‘they shall not pass’ to ISIS fascism”.