[Marxism] No aid for Kobani

Marv Gandall marvgand2 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 27 07:59:07 MDT 2014

While the US considers a no-fly zone to protect opposition centres against air attacks by the Syrian government, its air campaign has done nothing to stop the advance of the Islamic State against the Kurds in the border town of Kobani. The town is being defended against ISIS by the young men and women of the left-wing People’s Protection Units (YPG). The Kurds are being sacrificed because of their support for the YPG, an offshoot of the larger Kurdish organization, the PKK, whose armed struggle for independence was deemed “terrorist” by Turkey and the US. 

>From today’s New York Times:

On Friday in Turkey, the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Kobani near the border with Turkey was on the verge of falling to Islamic State militants, residents said. Kurdish militants there said they had struggled to fight off the militants all week even as an American-led coalition launched airstrikes against the Islamic State elsewhere in Syria.

By late afternoon, Islamic State militants could be seen along the border both east and west of the main town of Kobani, also known as Ain al-Arab, a constellation of mostly Kurdish farming villages with a population of 400,000. Fighting intensified as night fell, with heavy clashes reported near the town.

Refugees fleeing into Turkey and Kurdish fighters seeking to cross into Syria to defend Kobani expressed anger and perplexity that the American-led coalition had not launched airstrikes against their assailants to avert what the refugees said would be a massacre. The Islamic State’s attacks on Kurdish civilians in Iraq triggered the first American strikes on the group last month.

“If they need to locate them I can insert a smart chip in my heart and go to the Islamic State fighters,” said Hajjar Sheikh Mohammad, 22, a Syrian Kurd trying to return to Syria to fight, suggesting that he would sacrifice himself to spot Islamic State targets for American warplanes.

Increasingly desperate Kurds broke through a border fence on Friday afternoon in the border village of Mursitpinar and crossed in both directions, with women, children and old men streaming into Turkey with livestock and belongings, and men crossing into Syria, unarmed but determined to fight. Turkish forces fired tear gas canisters into the crowd at short range, sending people fleeing in panic.

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or Y.P.G., had been issuing urgent calls for help, saying they had only light weapons and were struggling to hold off Islamic State fighters who are armed with tanks and artillery. But aiding the group could be politically difficult because of its link to the P.K.K., a Turkey-based Kurdish separatist group that Turkey and the United States consider a terrorist organization.

Full: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/27/world/middleeast/us-considers-a-no-fly-zone-to-protect-civilians-from-airstrikes-by-syria-.html?emc=edit_th_20140927&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=46319619

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