News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Contrary to US military statement, Kurds are in no position to "help" anyone beat ISIS because ISIS is beating the Kurds with tanks and heavy weapons paid for by US taxpayers. Kurd families flee 21 more villages on foot as ISIS surrounds them-Reuters

9/19/14, "Kurds issue call to arms as Islamic State gains in Syria," Reuters, via Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, Tom Perry, Beirut 

"Islamic State fighters besieged a Kurdish town in northern Syria on Thursday after seizing 21 villages in a major assault, prompting a call to arms from Kurds in neighbouring Turkey who urged followers to go and help resist the group's advance. 

The attack on Ayn al-Arab, known as Kobani in Kurdish, came two days after the top US military officer said the Syrian opposition would probably need the help of the Syrian Kurds to defeat Islamic State.
With the United States planning to expand military action against Islamic State from Iraq to Syria, a surveillance drone was spotted over nearby Islamic State-controlled territory in Aleppo province, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. It was not immediately clear who was operating the drone.
Islamic State fighters, armed with heavy weaponry including tanks, seized a group of villages near Kobani in an offensive which the Observatory said had started on Tuesday night.
It said 21 villages had fallen to Islamic State in the last 24 hours as the group advanced on the town, one of the last major crossing points to Turkey not in Islamic State hands.

"We've lost touch with many of the residents living in the villages that [Islamic State] seized," said Ocalan Iso, deputy head of the Kurdish forces in Kobani.

The Kurds were appealing for military aid from other Kurdish groups in the region including the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), he said. Support from Kurds who crossed from Turkey helped to repel an Islamic State attack on the town in July.

PKK rebels later issued a call for young men in Turkey's south-east to join the fight.

Footage posted on YouTube on Wednesday by the YPG, the main Kurdish armed group in Syria, appeared to show Kurdish fighters armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades battling a tank flying the Islamic State's black flag west of Kobani.

About 3000 men, women and children arrived at the Turkish border roughly 10 kilometres from Kobani but were still waiting on the Syrian side after night fell. Turkish forces stopped the crowd from crossing.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the governors of border provinces in Turkey, where Kurdish militants have waged a three-decade insurgency to push for greater autonomy, had been ordered to extend aid to refugees on Syrian side of the border.

"We're ready to help our brothers who are building up at the borders regardless of their ethnicity, religion and sect. But our priority is to deliver aid within Syria's borders," he told reporters in Ankara.

Redur Xelil, spokesman for the YPG, said Islamic State had encircled the town.

The group was using tanks, rockets and artillery in the attack. "We call on world powers to move to halt this barbaric assault," he said.

Western states have expanded contact with the main Syrian Kurdish party, the PYD, since Islamic State seized wide areas of Iraq in June. The YPG, which says it has 50,000 fighters, says it should be a natural partner in a coalition the United States is trying to assemble to fight Islamic State.

But the Syrian Kurds' relationship with the West is complicated by their ties to the PKK - a group listed as a terrorist organisation in many Western states.

Western officials also cite concerns about the Syrian Kurds' ambiguous relationship with President Bashar al-Assad, who has mostly left the Kurds to their own devices while focusing its firepower on insurgents fighting to unseat him. The Syrian Kurds have denied accusations of cooperating with Damascus."

Image: "Turkish soldiers stand guard as Syrians approach the border fence near the Turkish town of Suruc, opposite the Syrian town known as Ayn al-Arab in Arabic and Kobani in Kurdish. Photo: Reuters"


9/18/14, "Islamic State: ‘The world cares nothing’ for Syrian city under Isis siege," UK Independent, Patrick Cockburn
"Kurds call for US air strikes as 133 children from Kobani, on the Turkish border, remain hostages."

"The missiles being fired by Isis at Kobani probably come from an arsenal of weapons including tanks, artillery, Humvees and armoured vehicles captured by Isis when it routed five Iraqi army divisions and captured Mosul and Tikrit in June. Mr Nassan said “they have everything except planes”."...


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