Open Letter to President Obama on Turkish Complicity in ISIS’s Second Assault on Kobani

By Dr. Amir Sharifi:

The following  letter was sent to President Barack Obama; another version  of it to to Vice President Joseph Biden: 

Dear Mr. President:

We write to urge you to denounce the Turkish complicity in the recent attack launched by the Islamic State on the town of Kobani. Islamic State in its twin attack on Kobani and Hasaka has once again committed heinous crimes. In Kobani and Brakh Bootan, a nearby village, more than 200 people including children, women, and elderly were killed; the number could rise as more bodies would be recovered from buildings and homes; over 200 have been wounded. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights this was the second biggest carnage perpetrated by the ISIS. The Kurdish Protection Units, PYG, have reportedly expelled the Islamist terrorists from Kobani, which in January 2014, became the symbol of  enduring resistance against the ISIS. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has reported that as the result of another simultaneous attack on Hasaka, another predominantly Kurdish town, 60,000 people have fled while 200,000 might flee to Turkey.

While we are in a state of shock and grief, we are wary of the Turkish government’s complicity in helping and supporting the ISIS and other Jihadist forces once again. Despite Mr.Erdogan’s vehement denial and condemnation of the attack, the Turkish government’s support for Jihadists including ISIS is well documented. The scrutiny of the Turkish policies vis a vis Kurds and ISIS throughout 2014 and 2015 has brought to light a series of irrefutable and well documented evidence by reputable Turkish prosecutors and journalists, of the steady flow of the Turkish aid to ISIS and Jihadist groups, leading to the initial undermining the international coalition against Islamic State terrorism; you aptly criticized the Turkish government for “letting arms and fighters flow into Syria indiscriminately and sometimes to the wrong rebels, including anti-Western jihadists.” Human Rights Watch has also highlighted how foreign fighters go to Syria through Turkey “… from which they also smuggle their weapons, obtain money and other supplies, and sometimes retreat to for medical treatment.” Kurdish and Turkish Parliamentarians have asked for inquires to no avail; despite coercion and charges of espionage, some Turkish independent prosecutors have courageously revealed in their testimonies that they had found and stopped trucks loaded with weaponry and provisions shipped to Islamist State in Syria in January 2014. More importantly the ISIS announced last year after the release of Turkish hostages that Turkey had promised them not to take part in the U.S lead coalition. Various members of the terrorist group and some of its defectors have confirmed the vital role of Turkey in helping them. Kurdish political forces in both Syria and Turkey have charged that the recent incursion had been launched from Turkey.

Mr. President, it is on the basis of this background that we are concerned and feel that the Turkish government is likely to be implicated in the recent attack on Kobani. This cowardly suicide mission ensued the recent military victory of Kurdish and some Syrian opposition forces aided by the U.S air strikes in Tal Abyad (Gire Spi in Kurdish) , a victory that Mr. Erdogan has found worrisome and threatening as it cut off  a main supply line between Turkey and  the Islamic State’s stronghold of  Raqqah.

Mr. President we are encouraged by the US government’s support for the Kurdish forces that have proven to be the most reliable and resilient ally in the fight against terrorism. Despite irrefutable evidence about the Turkish complicity in supplying and delivering logistic and military aid to the radical Jihadists such as AL-Nusra and ISIS, neither the U.S government nor the international community has taken any meaningful and decisive action to counter and denounce such a role. As Mr. Kerry stated in releasing the 2014 US Country Report on Human Rights Practices  “ terrorism is a grave threat to human rights…” Turkey in defiance of all international laws and conventions, has not only directly and indirectly refused to play any active and transparent role in fighting or facilitating the war against terrorism, it has negotiated with ISIS and lent them military and logistic support. As long as our government does not address the Turkish dubious role, ironically a NATO member, the ubiquitous threat of ISIS terrorism will not diminish. Mr. President, in the same spirit that the latest Country Report reflects the American sensitivity to human rights by highlighting draconian restrictions against fundamental freedoms in Turkey including discriminatory practices against Kurds and other minorities, we must denounce any dealings with Islamic State and hold those who recognize and help them accountable if extremism is to be “degraded and defeated”. A statement by the US government and a resolution by the U.N would compel the Turkish government to reconsider supporting Islamist and Jihadist groups that continue to be an existential threat to minorities and regional and global peace everywhere as we have witnessed in recent days.


Dr. Amir Sharifi

Kurdish Human Rights Advocacy Group

6 Responses to Open Letter to President Obama on Turkish Complicity in ISIS’s Second Assault on Kobani
  1. Karzan
    June 28, 2015 | 22:54

    Just like president Obamas promise of democracy, HRs, fight against corruption in Iraqi Kurdistan. Useless letter. Good luck!

  2. Barzan
    June 30, 2015 | 07:35

    Two requests to foreign editors:

    1) Please maintain your honesty and integrity in your articles published in

    The current and predictably next U.S. Administration will not support Kurdish independence in near future. It’s an undeniable fact. If it is interested,all it takes them is a pencil, a ruler and a map just Kuwait. Kurds are not that naive. All they expect is in return for thier cooperation on War on Terrorism, is recognition of their most basic rights by international community.

    2) Don’t discourage or strive to delay democracy in South Kurdistan for a while. IS poses immense threat to all sides. Regardless of elections, Kurds will have to continue fighting them. Democracy is the solution.

    Thank you much for your support!

  3. Elections
    July 1, 2015 | 01:44

    Number of candidates who have voiced interest on their personal Facebook pages to run in August Presidential elections in Iraqi Kurdistan . They all hope election will be held. Waiting on KRGs Presidents next move.

    7 in Sulaimania
    9 in Hawler
    3 in Duhok
    2 in Halabja
    1 Zakho
    1 in Masif

  4. Barzanis Excuses!
    July 1, 2015 | 05:59

    IS, Financial Crisis, Peshmerga Forces, Refugees Crisis are all excuses to prolong Masood Barzanis illegal terms.
    Yes, there are even better candidates who can capable to better handle such issues. Barzani latest message is full of non-sense. If western countries do not entice Masood to retire, he will never do so even if the majority wishes so.
    Same mindset as dictator Saddam Hussain.
    Kurds do not believe in force and violence but they will not tolerate dictatorship forever, either.

  5. Shawan
    July 3, 2015 | 06:11

    I look forward to learning the views of British General Counsel in regards to Presidential Election in Iraqi Kurdistan.

  6. Aram
    July 12, 2015 | 08:29

    Kurds need to forge an unbreakable national alliance in all 4 parts. No one cares about you but you! Have a self-defense strategy just in case!

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