Kobane official calls for more outside help to defeat ISIS

Rudaw reports: Anwar Muslim, president of the Syrian Kurdish canton of Kobane, appealed for more international support and weapons to defeat Islamic State militants.

He thanked the United States, which has air dropped weapons, and the Iraqi Peshmerga, who crossed the Turkish border into Kobane last Friday and where they appear to have helped to halt ISIS attacks.

Muslim, who travelled from Kobane to Erbil for a conference, said the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian Kurdish militia, now considered itself part of the international coalition battling ISIS.

The town of Kobane and the surrounding canton had been under pressure from ISIS for months with no outside assistance to its defenders. Thanks to US air support and Peshmerga reinforcements, the town has now held out for more than 50 days.

Some 30 per cent of the canton was now out of the control of ISIS, Muslim told the second day of the Middle East Research Institute conference.

“ISIS is a disease just like cancer,” he said. “We acknowledge the help of all international forces and the giving of weapons in particular.”

ISIS had to be “killed” because of its savagery and opposition to humanitarian values and he hailed the YPG as “heroes”.

The co-operation between the US and Peshmerga with the YPG of recent weeks marks a significant shift in Washington’s attitude towards a group previously ostracised because of its links to the Turkish Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), considered a terrorist organisation by Washington and Ankara.

The apparent political settlement or “marriage of convenience” between the US and the YPG could prove a model as Washington sought to create partnerships with other Syrian opposition groups, Max Hoffman of the Centre for American Progress, told the forum. [Continue reading…]

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