Appeal for a ‘Humanitarian Corridor’: OPEN UP A CORRIDOR TO KOBANE

Against all the odds, Kobani children have been going back to school

Against all the odds, Kobani children have been going back to school – but more international aid and support is desperately needed

By the Kobane Reconstruction Board:

(To add your name, or that of your organisation, to this important statement, please email: by 5th September)

Kobane desperately needs our help to rebuild itself and for this to take place, the establishment of a humanitarian corridor between Kobane and Turkey is an urgent requirement.

As of today, August 2015, the city of Kobane, located on the Syrian-Turkish border, remains subject to the merciless attacks of ISIS. Equipped with far less sophisticated weapons and with limited resources, the people of Kobane’s unflinching determination to survive is their only real means of opposing ISIS, to hold on to their independence and to be free from this brutal violence. And this is what they have undertaken, at times supported by the US air force as part of the international coalition to resist the advance of ISIS. The price of Kobane’s resistance has been high: countless dead and injured, and an almost completely destroyed city infrastructure, which has left essential supplies of water, electricity, food and medicine in a state of collapse. And the threat from ISIS has still not been eliminated.

During the fight for Kobane, ISIS laid millions of mines to obstruct the population from returning home and to make the cultivation of agriculture on which they depend for their livelihoods impossible. Kobane is almost completely closed off from the outside world and every day it has to deal with new attacks. The only way that people can obtain essential supplies needed for their survival and protection is to go north across the Turkish border.

This corridor is for the most part kept closed by the Turkish government. Turkey has provided asylum to many people from Kobane and hospital care. Nonetheless, given the scale of ISIS’s war and the catastrophic situation in the city, this is by no means sufficient, especially since many of those who had fled have since returned to their destroyed city in order to rebuild it. Whilst international humanitarian aid to other regions of Syria is being provided through the Turkish border, it must also be possible for the population in Kobane to receive supplies.

Only if the border with Turkey is open will the people of Kobane be able to receive all the aid and assistance which has been offered to supply, protect and rebuild their community. Reconstruction of the destroyed infrastructure will only be possible if international emergency helpers and experts are able to gain access on the ground to the cities that are in urgent need.

That is why we are calling on the Turkish government to urgently open up a corridor to Kobane to allow the city to live again and for the reconstruction to begin.

We are also calling on all international institutions and European governments to exert their influence with the Turkish Government to this end.

The United Nations should extend decision S/RES/2165 (2014) of 14 July 2014, Article 2, in order to guarantee an additional border crossing to Kobane. In the past, the international community, in particular the UN has been able to establish humanitarian corridors by political and diplomatic intervention.

The opening up of the border, and the support for the reconstruction of this city, are now matters of humanitarian urgency.

Universal values such as democracy and freedom are being defended in Kobane.

Signed (to date) by:

  • Anni Pues, Human Rights Lawyer, International Committee Scottish Green Party, UK
  • Minoo Alinia, Associate Professor in Sociology, Department of Sociology, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Joost Jongerden, , Assistant Professor, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
  • Shannon Brincat, Academic, Griffith University, Australia
  • Sukla Sen, peace activist, India
  • Abdalkareem Atteh, Phd Student, Essex University, UK
  • Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party of England and Wales, UK
  • Derek Wall, International Coordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales; UK
  • Val Swain, Phd candidate, University of East Anglia, UK
  • Houzan Mahmoud, Kurdish feminist activist
  • Sean Hawkey, photo journalist, UK
  • Harem Karem, editor,, UK
  • Isabel Kaser, PhD candidate SOAS, UK
  • Stephen Smellie, UNISON South Lanarkshire, Scotland
  • John Hunt, editor, writer, UK
  • National Union of Journalists Manchester Branch
  • Corporate Watch (, UK
  • Julia Iglesias, Newroz Basque-Kurdish Friendship Association, Basque Country
  • Joe Ryan, Chair of Westminster Diocese for Peace and Justice, UK
  • Bob Rossi, Labour and solidarity activist (, US
  • Thomas Schmidt, lawyer, Secretary General of ELDH
  • Bob McGlynn, Neither East Nor West-NYC, US
  • Andreas Gavrielidis, Greek-Kurdish Solidarity, UK
  • Trevor Rayne Lecturer in Economics and Public Service Management & Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! UK
  • Sarah Parker, human rights activist, UK
  • Bronwen Jones, barrister, UK;
  • Peter Tatchell, Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation, UK
  • Dashty Jamal, Secretary , International Federation of Iraqi Refugees-IFIR, UK
  • Khatchatur I. Pilikian, Prof of Music & Art, UK
  • Oonagh Cousins, Film Producer, UK
  • Joshua Virasami, Social Justice Activist, Black Dissidents, UK
  • Richard Haley, Chair, Scotland Against Criminalising Communities; Scotland
  • Nick Hildyard, policy analyst, UK
  • Isil Altan, Student, Kurdish Society of Nottingham Trent University, UK
  • Kardo Bokani, Assistant Lecturer , University College Dublin (UCD); Ireland
  • Jonathan Bloch, author; UK
  • Azad Dewani, PhD candidate; UK
  • Baris Oktem, Post Graduate Sociology Department, University of Essex; UK
  • Campaign Against Criminalising Communites ( UK
  • Dr Meryem Kaya, Trainee doctor, Kurdish Professionals Network, UK
  • Tara Jaff, musician, UK

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