YPG official: Airstrikes not enough to protect Kobani

In an interview with An-Nahar, an official from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units said that his people will fight till their last breath before allowing the Islamic State to take over Kobani.

al-monitor Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) drive a tank in villages surrounding Jazaa after they seized control of the area from Islamic State fighters on the Iraqi-Syrian border, August 30, 2014.  Photo by REUTERS/Rodi Said.

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ypg, turkey, pyd, kurds, islamic state

Oct 14, 2014

The word “defeat” can be used in the media, but not by most of the residents of Kobani. In this spirit, Kurdish gunmen, or rather the residents of Kobani, are fighting the Islamic State (IS) that is violently heading toward them to expand the geographic area of the alleged caliphate.

The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) denied the rumors that the security square [of Kobani] has fallen into the hands of IS. They said, “We will not leave this land easily; our choice is either to die as martyrs or to be victorious.” As for the people who still resist in the city, they say, “We are under a tight siege from all sides, but we are capable of fighting for months long, despite the difficulties we are facing, most notably regarding the remedy to our wounds.”

The air raids are not enough

Korran, is a pseudonym of an official in the YPG, whose women and men are engaged in a fierce battle against IS.

This morning [Oct. 10], we communicated with Korran, who is present in the northwest of the city that is besieged from all sides, with the exception of its air space, from which “some assistance is received.”

Korran told An-Nahar: “The airstrikes are beneficial, which was seen two days ago when the international coalition’s aircrafts bombed gunmen positions at the city entrance. This has resulted in their retreat, making them think twice before approaching, for two reasons. First, the gunmen have been targeted by the aircrafts, and the second reason is related to our ability to engage in street wars and hunt them down.”

However, he added that the strikes “will not be enough to completely draw IS out of the city and its surroundings. [The air raids] need to be intensified, and to directly target their positions and gatherings.”

Unavailable medical treatment

Korran said, “The ammunition in the city can last for months, in case the sieges imposed by Turkey on the one hand and IS on the other continue.” He explained that “the world will be surprised at what we are able to do to preserve the city. Yet, we are suffering a severe shortage of health care, since we do not have the ability to treat the wounded as quickly as required. They are unable to return to the battle, particularly since Turkey has imposed a blockade that has prevented us from going to Turkish hospitals, while its border is wide open to IS to get medical treatment and other [services].”

Korran noted that “in the past few days, vehicles filled with gunmen came from the north toward the city, but we were able to target them before they reached us.” He explained, “IS fighters are in control of non-pivotal parts of the city, unlike what is being said in the media. We are able to block the IS advancement toward the neighborhoods and planning for surprise [attacks].”

He pointed out that “IS fighters are only able to shell the city from the outside, which does not achieve much on the short run.” He added, “What we rely on the most in our fight is our human capabilities and the determination of our fighters to prevent our city from falling [to IS]. We are determined to fight until our last breath.”

Turkey’s bias in favor of IS

He accused Turkey of “bias in favor of IS, in an attempt to render us subservient to agree on its conditions.” According to Korran, “The Turkish police has allowed the so-called Turkish Hezbollah to help suppress the Kurdish protesters who took to the street to rescue us and save the city.”

He also accused Turkey of preventing the Kurds from returning to the city to participate in the fighting. “The Turks are working against us, but some of the Kurds managed to penetrate the border and return to the city, after protesters removed the border between the Syrian Qamishli and Turkish Nisibin,” he said. As part of Korran’s accusations of Turkey, he noted that last week the authorities in Ankara “arrested 200 people who left the city and headed toward the border, under the pretext of being affiliated with the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is banned in Turkey.”

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