Kurdish fighters turning the tide at Kobani
Kurdish fighters at Kobani are starting to gain ground against ISIS forces, days after the jihadists had penetrated the besieged town in northern Syria. Images on the Daily Mail website show Kurdish YPG fighters triumphantly raising their flag above Tel Shair hill in the west of the town, where the black jihadist flag ISIS had recently been flying. The report emphasizes the role of US air-strikes in the turn-around, and also claims the YPG has started to press local youth into its ranks in a conscription drive. The Washington Post shows images of the latest US strikes on ISIS positions at Kobani, and notes that the US-led military campaign has now been officially dubbed "Inherent Resolve."
However, YPG's defense minister in Kobani, Îsmet Şêx Hesen, speaking to the independent Kurdish news agency DİHA, downplayed the role of outside aid, saying, "Air-strikes are effective but not reaching their factual target." In an awkwardly translated quote, he denied that arms have reached Kobani's defenders, either from Iraq's Kurdish regional government or world powers: "We have called for aid for times up to now. [Sic] We are renewing our appeals to our people, international community and states. Nobody heard us. The world closed its ears and remained silent. No aid of weaponry made for [has reached] Kobanê."
A YPG statement noted that Oct. 14 marked the 30th day of the siege on Kobani. The statement claimed 1,294 ISIS fighters have been killed in the fighting thus far, although it failed to give a figure for YPG fighters killed. It also claimed 10 ISIS tanks and a large number of military vehicles have been destroyed by YPGF forces. (ANF)
Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy to Syria, again warned of a likely "massacre" if Kobani falls. He said some 700 non-combatants, most of them elderly people, remain in the town, while 12,000 people are caught between the town and the Turkish border. He issued an "appeal to the Turkish authorities" to "allow the flow of volunteers" across the border to Kobani. (Alliance for Kurdish Rights)
Local Kurds and their supporters from across Turkey have launched a "resistance vigil" at the border near Kobani in solidarity with the town's defenders, protesting the closure of the border by Turkish security forces. The resistance vigil is being maintained at the border villages of Mahser and Miseynter. (ANF)
Some volunteers have apparently managed to get through. The remains of one Kurdish fighter killed at Kobani were returned to the Turkish town of Batman, where a massive funeral procession accompanied his coffin draped with the PKK flag. The crowd chanted "Long live the YPG resistance," "Kurdistan will become a grave for ISIS," and "Martyrs are immortal!" (DİHA)