#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES – October 17 – The US State Department met directly with a Syrian Kurdish group last week in France, in conversations that led to increased American air-strikes against Islamic State militants in Kobani, Reuters reports.
A spokesman for the Kurds said their troops on the ground fed the US military the coordinates of militants in the town, where intense fighting has broken out.
“We have for some time had conversations through intermediaries with the PYD [the Kurdish Democratic Union Party].
We have engaged over the course of just last weekend with the PYD,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
#AceNewsServices – October 15 – American-led forces have sharply intensified air strikes in the past two days against Islamic State fighters threatening Kurds on Syria’s Turkish border after the jihadists’ advance began to destabilize Turkey.
The coalition had conducted 21 attacks on the militants near the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani over Monday and Tuesday and appeared to have slowed Islamic State advances there, the U.S. military said, but cautioned the situation remained fluid.
U.S. President Barack Obama voiced deep concern on Tuesday about the situation in Kobani as well as in Iraq’s Anbar province, which U.S. troops fought to secure during the Iraq war and is now at risk of being seized by Islamic State militants.
“Coalition air strikes will continue in both of these areas,” Obama told military leaders from coalition partners including Turkey, Arab states and Western allies during a meeting outside Washington.
The fight against Islamic State will be among the items on the agenda when Obama holds a video conference on Wednesday with British, French, German and Italian leaders, the White House said.
War on the militants in Syria is threatening to unravel a delicate peace in neighboring Turkey where Kurds are furious with Ankara over its refusal to help protect their kin in Syria.
The plight of the Syrian Kurds in Kobani provoked riots among Turkey’s 15 million Kurds last week in which at least 35 people were killed.
Turkish war-planes were reported to have attacked Kurdish rebel targets in southeast Turkey after the army said it had been attacked by the banned PKK Kurdish militant group, risking reigniting a three-decade conflict that killed 40,000 people before a ceasefire was declared two years ago.
AceWorldNews – TURKEY – October 14 – Turkish war-planes have bombed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets near the country’s border with Iraq.
The strikes highlight rising tensions in Turkey over Ankara’s perceived unwillingness to aid besieged Kurdish fighters in the Syrian town of Kobani.
The Turkish General Staff dispatched F-16 and F-4 jets to the southeastern village of Daglica in Hakkari province on Monday, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reports.
The daily says the airstrikes caused “heavy damage” to the PKK.
The PKK’s military wing, however, said in a statement on its website that its forces had not suffered casualties during the strikes, Reuters reports.
Turkey says the bombings came in response to three days of attacks on the Daglıca military guard post with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns.
PKK insurgents for their part blamed the Turkish military of violating the ceasefire.
Monday’s strikes were the first to be conducted since the Kurdish rebel group declared a ceasefire with Turkey in March 2013.
The incident underlines simmering anger among Kurds in south-eastern Turkey over Ankara’s failure to intervene against so-called Islamic State (IS) militants, who launched a massive offensive on the predominately Kurdish town of Kobani – not far from Syria’s border with Turkey – on September 16.
At least 35 people were killed throughout Turkey’s Kurdish majority south-eastern provinces last week after protests against Ankara’s inaction descended into violent street clashes.
#AceWorldNews – KOBANI – October 10 – Islamic State forces have made new gains in Kobani, now controlling about 40 percent of the Syrian town of Kobani on the Turkish border and might well capture it, Deputy US National Security Adviser Tony Blinken has said.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen because again in the absence of any ground force there, it is going to be difficult just through air power to prevent ISIL (IS) from potentially taking over the town,”Blinken told reporters at a briefing in London on Friday.
This information is also confirmed by the the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“They have taken at least 40 percent (of the town),” the head of the monitoring group, Rami Abdulrahman, said by telephone as reported by Reuters.
Islamic State fighters were now in almost complete control of the “security quarter,” which is home to the administrative buildings used by the local government, he said.
The IS militants have seized control over some of the eastern areas of the town and smaller areas in the south of Kobani, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
They have seized the Kurd headquarters also, a monitoring group said.
“They are trying to advance on the crossing from the east … but the YPG [fighters] are resisting them,”Ocalan Iso, the deputy head of the Kurdish forces defending Kobani, told Reuters.
#AceNewsServices – SYRIA – October 07 – The black Islamic State flag has been raised over a building on the outskirts of a strategic town of Kobani on the Syrian-Kurdish border, according to various sources.
However, Kurds defending the border town say that the city has not yet fallen.
Attacks in the town intensified on Sunday when Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS or ISIL) militants besieged the city. The black flag was seen at the top of a four story building, according to the images shot from Turkey. A Turkish military officer who preferred to remain anonymous confirmed to Reuters that the flag had been that of the Islamists.
Fighting kicked off east of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab in Arabic), the northern Syrian town facing a fierce onslaught of Islamic State (IS) on Sunday. However, an initial offensive was launched some two weeks ago. The jihadist group had earlier pledged to overrun the town by the beginning of Eid al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice.
Shortly after news of the flag’s planting emerged, a member of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) announced that more than 2,000 people were being evacuated as IS advanced, reported Reuters. Over 186,000 Kurds have already fled to Turkey from the city.
“We can hear the sound of clashes in the street,” a translator, Parwer Ali Mohamed, said over the phone as the group made its way to Turkey.
#AceNewsServices – SYRIA – September 21 – Some 60,000 Syrian Kurds have crossed into Turkey in the past 24 hours, fleeing Islamic State (IS) militants who are advancing on dozens of villages close to the border.
Turkey opened a stretch of the border on Friday after Kurds fled their homes, fearing an attack on the border town of Ayn al-Arab, a Kurdish commander on the ground said.
Local Kurds also said they fear a massacre in Kobani, whose strategic location has been blocking the militants from gaining more power in northern Syria.
“Kobani is facing the fiercest and most barbaric attack in its history,” Mohammed Saleh Muslim, the head of Syria’s powerful Kurdish Democratic Union, told AP.
Lokman Isa, a 34-year-old farmer who escaped with his family, told Reuters: “They [Islamic State] have destroyed every place they have gone to. We saw what they did in Iraq in Sinjar and we fled in fear.”
He added that Kurdish forces fighting against the radical group have only light weapons.
The Islamic State militants are known to be using rockets, artillery, tanks, and armoured vehicles.
“I would have fought to my last drop of blood against Islamic State but I had to bring the women and children,”Mustafa Saleh, a 30 year-old water industry worker, said.
“The United States, Turkey, Russia, friendly countries must help us. They must bomb Islamic State. All they can do is cut off heads, they have nothing to do with Islam,” he added.
Meanwhile, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said that 60,000 people have crossed the 30-kilometre stretch of open border since Friday.
At least 100 villages have been evacuated since Tuesday, when the assault began. Since then, over 300 Kurdish fighters have come to Syria from Turkey to fight against the militants.
Eleven Kurdish civilians, including boys, were executed in the villages near Kobani, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
#AceWorldNews – CZECHOSLOVAKIA – September 07 – The Czech Republic will supply Iraq’s Kurds with ammunition worth over US$2 million, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said in televised statement on Sunday.
As quoted by RIA Novosti.“Right after Iraq’s new government begins its work, which is planned for September 14, I will visit the country for talks on the supply of weapons, the first tranche of which has already been approved by the Czech government.
The cost of the first delivery is over 40 million korunas (or $2 million), but it is gratuitous on our part,” Zaoralek said.
On Wednesday, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said that Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Canada, and Albania will provide “arms and equipment” to Kurdistan, northern Iraq, which joined the central Baghdad government in the fight against Islamic State militants, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS/ISIL)
#AceWorldNews – BAGHDAD – April 29 – An Al-Qaeda spin-off group on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in a Kurdish town that killed at least 25 people the previous day, AP reported.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) claimed the attack in a post on one of its Twitter accounts.
The bombing in the town of Khanaqin in the Diyala province north-east of Baghdad also wounded 35 people.
The bomber blew himself up among a group of Kurds celebrating the appearance on local TV of Iraq’s ailing president, Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, who has been in Germany since 2012.
AP – RT
#AceWorldNews says that according to the latest reports thousands of Kurds rallied in towns across south-eastern Turkey on Sunday, demanding the release of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, in commemoration of the 15th anniversary since he was first captured.
In Diyarbakir, the main city in the south-east, the demonstrators fought with police in side streets, according to Reuters, while in Cizre, near the Iraqi border, protesters lobbed petrol bombs as police retaliated with tear gas. Ocalan is leader of the PKK – the Kurdistan Workers Party – and is regarded by Turkey as being responsible for tens of thousands of deaths.
For Kurds, Ocalan represents the struggle for self-determination and political rights. While peace talks began in late 2012, there was a rebel withdrawal in September due to the apparent lack of progress the Turkish government made in addressing their concerns.