Fr Joe Ryan writes:
I have been involved and aware of the Kurdish situation for several years, as there are many Kurds in my neighbourhood. As I have written earlier, I have been invited to Turkey to witness human rights trials, and to Brussels to request the release of the PKK leader, Abdullah Oczalan. Last week I went to Downing Street where the Kurds were on hunger strike to ask for British support in their opposition to IS. Days later I met them at the BBC where they were asking for balanced reporting on the fraught situation in Syria. Here they express the situation as they see it.
KURDS ARE FACING MASSACRE IN KOBANE.
ISIS terrorists have entered Kobane on the 4th October 2014 and are massacring civilians as you read this. The lives of thousands of women, children and men are in danger. The international community is silent despite many appeals. The whole world is watching the genocide of Kurds in Kobane. Since the 15th September ISIS/DAIS has intensified its attacks against the Kurdish population in Rojava (West Kurdistan/Northern Syria) and seizwd control of 60 villages near the border in a two day campaign as they approached the town of Kobane. Kobane is Syria’s third largest Kurdish town and would give the Islamic State (ISIS/IS) control of a long stretch of the country’s northern border with Turkey.
ISIS terrorists, militarily, logistically and politically supported by NATO member Turkey and funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatari States (despite them being in the coalition), are using US made heavy artillery and weapons seized in Iraq and Syria. ISIS has already taken over Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, declaring an ‘Islamic Caliphate’ in the region and has displaced 500,000 Ezidi Kurds in Sinjar and kidnapped 3,000 women who are being sold as sex slaves. Thousands of children, disabled people and elderly men have been kidnapped and executed in the Kurdish region of Iraq and Syria. Kobane is now under the immediate threat of genocidal massacre as happened in Sinjar. At the same time Turkish soldiers have been attacking people trying to cross the border of Kobane-Suruc.
Turkey’s ultimate plan is to create the conditions for the fall of Kobane in Rojava Kurdistan by forcing international powers to create a buffer zone in this region. In this way they wish to destroy the legitimate rights of self-determination of the Kurdish people in Turkey and Syria.
- The UK Government must urgently provide the Kurdish forces resisting ISIS with advanced weaponry tat can match that of the ISIS terrorists.
- The UK Government should take immediate steps to delist the organisation.
- The UN must allow a humanitarian corridor from Serekani (Kurdish town in Turkey) to Kobane in order to provide support to the people of Kobane.
- The UK Government should consider economic sanctions against all states and individuals that continue to support ISIS, especially Turkey.
- NATO must convene and consider the continued membership of Turkey considering the overwhelmingly evidence of Turkey’s continued support of ISIS terror.
- The UN must not, under any circumstances, permit a ‘buffer zone’ as proposed by Turkey who supports ISIS. Such a ‘buffer zone’ will have serious consequences for the ongoing political process in Turkey.
- The UN and international women’s organisations must investigate the situation of kidnapped women by ISIS and begin a plan of action for their rescue.
- The UK, EU and US must officially recognise the authority of three cantons declared as autonomous regions in Rojava Kurdistan (Northern Syria).
Source: Leaflet from Kurdish Peoples’ Association UK, Roj Women Assembly, Free Youth Movement.