New York Kurds stand with Kobani

A group of local Kurdish Americans gathered in New York's Union Square Oct. 3 to show their support for Kobani, the Kurdish town in northern Syria now besieged by ISIS. A Kurdish flag was held along with black-background signs reading "KOBANE IS NOT ALONE." The vigil demanded international solidarity for the People's Protection Units (YPG), the Kurdish militia force that is defending the canton of Kobani, home to some half million people. Their statement asserted that since US air-strikes on the ISIS capital of Raqqa, the jihadists have moved their fighters and weapons into the Kurdish areas to the north. "Therefore, we are here to ask your help in demanding the Obama Administration to immediately bomb ISIS positions around Kobane and give Kurdish forces…military assistance so that Kurds can better defend themselves… [W]e also urge the international community to immediately provide…humanitarian assistance to the people of Kobane."

Organizer Mehmet Fidan of the American Kurdish Association and the KurdsList website accused Turkey and other US allies in the region of having abetted the rise of ISIS with arms and other support, citing Vice President Joe Biden's recent comments to that effect (RT, Oct. 3). Asked about the role of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the political force behind the YPG militias, Fidan expressed strong support. "The PKK are the only ones fighting for the freedom of minorities, whether Kurds, Christians or Yazidis," he said. "Not the Iraqi or Syrian army. Only the PKK."

Fidan called the US air-strikes "the right decision, but very late." And he emphasized that the US "should attack ISIS positions in Kobani—not just compounds in the middle of the desert." The defenders of Kobani only have AK-47s, and they are up against tanks and artillery that ISIS seized from the Iraqi army in Mosul, he said.

Another participant calling himself Muko, who works as a taxi driver in New York, noted the Islamist ideology of Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, saying: "Turkey and ISIS are on the same road. They are threatened by the PKK's assertion of women's rights. The PKK is the strongest force working for secularism in the region."

World War 4 Report on the scene

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