Friday, October 10, 2014

People Still Trapped Under ISIS Orders

In the mist of ISIS taking over the Syrian town of Kobane, there are still citizens living in the city. The UN special envoy to Syria has warned that up to 700 people, mainly elderly, are still trapped in the Syrian border town of Kobane.

Staffan de Mistura also urged Turkey to allow in volunteers to Syria to defend the town from Islamic State militants. There are reports that ISIS has taken control of the Kurdish headquarters in the town. The fighting has forced hundreds of thousands of Syrians, mainly Kurds, to flee into neighbouring Turkey, which has so far ruled out any ground operation on its own against ISIS.

Kurdish forces, who are being helped by US-led coalition strikes against ISIS, say they urgently need more weapons and ammunition to push back the militants' advance in the town. Kurdish sources inside Kobane told the BBC that four air strikes hit the western side of the town in one half-hour period.

He said the civilians would "most likely be massacred'' if the town fell to ISIS, warning that the UN did not want to see another Srebrenica - where thousands of Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb forces in 1995 during the Bosnian conflict.

The vice chairman of Turkey's governing AK party, Yasin Aktay, told the BBC on Friday that all of Kobane's civilians had left the town and were already in Turkey. There is no tragedy in Kobane as cried out by the terrorist PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party]", he said. "There is a war between two terrorist groups.

Turkey is reluctant to get involved militarily, partly because it is concerned about arming the Kurdish forces who are fighting the ISIS militants. Turkey fought a long civil war with its Kurdish minority. A Syrian Kurdish source inside Kobane has denied reports that IS has taken almost complete control of the town's "security quarter" - where the Kurdish civilian headquarters are based.