Thursday, October 09, 2014

ISIS Video Threatens Turkey While Turkey Does Nothing To Save Kobani Border Town

One would think that Turkey would be more actively involved in aiding the Western coalition in its fight against the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL), since ISIS is poised to capture the Syria/Turkey border town of Kobani. It's just a wire fence that separates Kobani from Turkey, and yet Turkey's conservative Muslim president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is doing very little to help. In fact, he's thwarting efforts by Turkish Kurds to cross the border into Syria to aid fellow Kurds in Kobani who are desperate for help.
As Turkish troops and tanks stand guard at the border, many Kurds are desperate and angry, assaulted by Turkish teargas, water cannon, and police violence.

“Isis are inhuman, they are the terrorists. The YPG is fighting not only for the Kurds and their land, but for all of humanity,” said Nesrattin from the border town of Siirt. “We’re protecting Turkey, too. Why can’t they see that? We are Turkey’s friends.”

He is surrounded by a throng of other Kurds from Siirt who have come to the border “to make sure that Turkey does not support Isis”.
But they have been. They have been allowing foreign jihadists to freely cross the border into Syria, while forcefully banning Kurdish fighters to help in Kobani.

“Why do they use so much force against us?” asked Hatice, 38. “Many of our friends were hurt in clashes with the police on this side of the border. They use teargas and water cannon, some of our cars were damaged. We’re not doing anything bad, we just want to stand here to support the YPG fighters in Kobani.”
But apparently, Erdoğan hates the Kurds more than he fears ISIS.

“Erdoğan hates the Syrian Kurds. He thinks they’re worse than Isis. Turkey has many problems with this and has always been ambiguous,” said a European diplomat involved in the effort to build an anti-Isis coalition.
That view appeared to be vindicated this week when Erdoğan equated the Kurds of Kobani and their defenders with the jihadi assailants. “It is wrong to view them differently, we need to deal with them jointly,” he told journalists in Istanbul.
That's because he considers the banned the Kurdish PKK army as terrorists.

Kobani Kurdish fighters are running out of ammunition, though, and  U.S. airstrikes are doing little to help. If and when Kobani falls, Turkey is just a stone's throw away.

Kobani from Turkey border - Photo credit Lefteris Pitarakis

According to Pentagon's Rear Adm. John Kirby, those airstrikes "are not going to save" Kobani.

"I think we all should be steeling ourselves for that eventuality," he told reporters in a daily briefing Wednesday.

"We are doing everything we can to halt" ISIS' progress against the town, but airstrikes alone cannot stop the Islamist militants, Kirby added.

"We've been very honest about the limits of air power here. The ground forces that matter the most are indigenous ground forces, and we don't have a willing, capable, effective partner on the ground inside Syria right now -- it's just a fact," he said.

Erdoğan would do well to help Kobani, considering ISIS has now posted another propaganda video, claiming Turkey is next- that ISIS will conquer Turkey and rid the country of Erdoğan.

The YouTube video here.

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