human rights watch

söndag 28 september 2014

Syrian Kurdish leader calls for US airstrikes around Kobani

Syrian Kurdish leader calls for US airstrikes around Kobani.
WASHINGTON,— Salih Muslim, leader of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, is warning of an imminent genocide by the Islamic State (IS) against Kurds in Kobani in Syrian Kurdistan and is calling on the international community to intervene.

“A massacre has begun in Kobani,” Muslim told participants of a conference titled the New Kurdish Reality in the Middle East, held by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in Washington on Friday. 

Muslim spoke via Skype because the US State Department did not issue him a visa to attend the event. The PYD, the biggest Kurdish party in Syrian Kurdistan, is affiliated with the Turkey's Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which is designated a "terrorist" organization by the United States, Europe and Turkey. 

“I ask the international community and democratic forces to stand with Kobani We are appealing to the United Nations, the United States, NATO and the European Union,” he said.

The Kurdish town of Kobani has been besieged by IS militants for the last week, forcing an estimated 140,000 civilians to flee to the Turkish border. 

Earlier this week, US President Barack Obama authorized the US military to target IS positions in Syria, but Kurdish report that airstrikes have not been carried out around the Kurdish city of Kobani in Syrian Kurdistan, which is strategically located near the Turkish border.

“We see all the fighter jets flying around, but they never target IS near Kobani. Airstrikes will be very helpful to repel IS attacks on Kobani,” said Muslim. 

“We are looking to international forces to do something to stop the massacre against Kobani. They see it happening, but aren’t doing anything to stop it,” Muslim added.

Muslim maintained that Kurds want to work with the US and other international partners, including Turkey, to combat IS.

“We are open to everyone to coordinate and cooperate to defeat ISIS. We want a good relationship with the US and would like to convince them, to talk to them have them listen to us,” he said.

The PYD leader criticized Turkey for not helping Kurdish forces in Syria, known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG) halt the advance of the Islamic extremists.

“If Turkey really wants to fight IS, they can support YPG in Kobani and provide them with weapons,” he said.

Muslim said the Iraqi Kurdistan's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party has deployed troops to the border crossing area of Tel Kochar in Nineveh province “to aid YPG forces against IS, but the help has not been extended to Kobani.”

By Yerevan Saeed - Rudaw

Editor's Note: Some parts of this article have been lightly edited by

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