Syria: ISIS-besieged Kurds appeal for aid

the Kurdish town of Kobani is holding out against a dramatic ISIS advance into Syrian territory over the past 48 hours, wth the jihadists in control of nearly 60 villages to the east of the town. "Kobani is facing the fiercest and most barbaric attack in its history," said Mohammed Saleh Muslim, head of Syria's opposition Democratic Union Party (PYD), a PKK-aligned formation that has been in control of the area. "Whoever is going to do something for Kobani should do it now," Muslim said, calling on forces throughout the Kuridsh regions to come to the town's defense. Refering the northern Iraqi town that has been cleansed by ISIS, he added: "If we really don't want a second Sinjar we must defend Kobani…. Our people were slaughtered in Sinjar and our women and girls were sold. Honor is everything… We still have an opportunity to prevent a repetition in Kobani."

With Kobani under heavy shelling from ISIS, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leadership in Turkey issued a call for a general mobilization to come to the town's assistance. Hundreds of PKK fighters are said to have crossed from eastern Turkey (North Kurdistan, in the PKK's nomenclature) into Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava). "Young people from the North must go to Kobane and join the historic, honorable resistance," said a statement by the Union of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), the PKK's civil organization. "Kobane is also the symbol of the Rojava Revolution, and in reality it is a part of North Kurdistan," the statement added.

But the Peshmerga, the armed force of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq, seems to be waiting for a more fomal arrangement from the PRD. “Sending Peshmerga forces to Rojava [Syrian Kurdistan] to defend Kobane needs a political agreement between the Kurdistan Region and the authorities of those areas of Kurdistan,” Aziz Waisi, the commander of the Peshmerga's Zeravani Special Forces told Kurdish news agency Rudaw. "Unless there is such an agreement we can’t take any steps."

PYD's armed wing—the Peoples Protection Units (YPG)—is leading the defense of Kobane. Waisi said that without clear coordination with the PYD, sending the Peshmerga to Rojava would lead to tensions. (BasNewsAP, PUKMedia, RudawRudaw, Sept. 20; ANF, Sept. 19)