Nato member Turkey is effectively allowing Isis to destroy the Kurdish city of Kobane. This press release by Turkish Kurdish organisation Day-Mer, calls for international solidarity and for Turkey to allow Kurdish heavy weapons through to defend the city
Isis is turning Iraq and Syria into a bloodbath. The imperialists wanted to use Isis to redesign the Middle East for their own goals, and now the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane is singlehandedly fighting to defend itself against Isis.
About four months ago, IS armed forces started their advance towards the east aiming for Baghdad. They quickly took over the city of Mosul, a major city in Iraq. In the areas of the advance and in Mosul, Sunni Iraqi soldiers put up no resistance and handed their weapons over to IS. Some joined in the ranks with IS and some fled to the east. While IS was advancing on Baghdad, the Shiite leader of the Iraqi government was replaced, the US provided the Central Iraqi government with arms and military experts, and supported them with air strikes against IS. The IS reaction was to do a U-turn and advance on the Kurdish areas of Iraq and Syria. The Barzani forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Northern Iraq could not withstand the IS onslaught and retreated, abandoning their positions and weapons.
The Isis forces have been massacring and displacing the Yazidi minority of the Shengal region of Syria, and are now focusing on the Kurds of Rojava. Situated in northern Syria, Rojava’s predominantly Kurdish population have created a new political formation, where they are trying to enable peoples of all faiths and national identities to live together in peace. This example is an expression of how people in the Middle East can live freely. However, the Isis militants are trying to destroy Kobane at the heart of Rojava, while the Kurdish people are waging a struggle for life to defend their homeland, without any support from the Coalition forces, including Turkey.
The Kurdish people in Northern Iraq, in Kobane, are now face-to-face with one of the largest humanitarian tragedies of recent history. Since 19th September 2014, the people of Kobane, old and young, men and women have been putting up an honourable resistance to the Isis gangs and their ongoing attacks. Their only source of support has been the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) forces. In Iraqi Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) forces (which have been waging a war for 30 years against Turkey until the recent ceasefire) confronted the IS forces and managed to halt their advance in some places. IS forces got closer to the Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital Erbil and the important oil town of Kirkuk and they overran the Yazidi city of Shengal. Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled Shengal and have taken refuge in Turkey.
The US support helped stop the IS advance on Iraqi Kurdistan and following this, IS began to increase its attacks on Kobane. It is now surrounded on three sides by IS forces in the east, south and west, except for the border with Turkey in the north. The IS forces have tanks and heavy artillery while the YPG/YPJ forces in Kobane only have light infantry rifles. The elderly, women and children in Kobane have escaped to Turkey. Tens of thousands are in the town of Suruc in Turkey, camping in the open and going hungry. Kobane wants arms to defend itself against the IS. They want Turkey to open a corridor for them to bring tanks and heavy artillery abandoned in the Eastern Canton of Rojava by the Iraqi Kurds and Iraqi military forces and seized by the YPG. The IS forces are now within 1km of the YPG positions.
Meanwhile, the Turkish government has joined the US coalition against the IS and wants to create a 40-50km buffer zone in Rojava, along the Turkish-Syrian border to settle the Syrian refugees that crossed the borders into Turkey during the civil war. Populations in this zone will be disarmed (hence PYD and YPG will lose control and influence in Rojava and the coalition forces, including Turkey, will supposedly defend the area against IS and the Assad forces).
As the latest reports from the mainstream media also confirm, Isis has surrounded Kobane. However we are also hearing from sources in Kobane and on the border that the honourable struggle of Kobane continues. Kurdish people living in Turkey together with progressive forces have been on the border since 19th September. Over the last weekend, just like their brothers and sisters in Kobane, they have also been attacked by the Turkish army and police who have never been shy of expressing their support for the Isis forces.
We, as Day-Mer believe that in the current situation, international solidarity and support for Kobane is of vital importance. We have therefore called on all political parties, organisations and the public opinion to show solidarity with Kobane and Rojava. We think that solidarity with the peoples of the region against imperialist plans and attacks is one of the most urgent political tasks. Today we are starting our next solidarity campaign with this press release. We are hoping that in the coming days, we can further strengthen this solidarity initiative by organising the lobbying of parliament, meetings and pressure groups to achieve the best possible support for people of Kobane and people of Middle East.
More articles from this author
- Changing the narrative on Palestine: The Big Ride 2021 - photo essay pt 2
- Strikers shut down six Scottish airports - News from the Frontline
- Is Britain breaking up? - video
- Covid and the campuses: can UCU turn anger into action?
- Existence is Resistance: A brief history of the Palestinian struggle - video
- Cycling in solidarity: The Big Ride For Palestine 2021
- The left, the right and the culture wars - video