Fight for Kobani Reveals Boiling Cauldron of Regional Tensions
Ethnic Kurds across Turkey, human rights organizations inside Syria, and others (including the U.S. government) are calling for the Turkish government to more forcefully intervene in the fight against ISIS militants now taking place in the city of Kobani, a Kurdish stronghold that sits on the border between the two countries.
As the U.S. continued to target ISIS positions with aerial bombardments on Wednesday, clashes overnight in cities across Turkey left at least a dozen people dead as members of Turkey’s Kurdish community angry with the government for not acting to save their fellow Kurds in Kobani, clashed with police and security forces.
As Agence France-Presse reports:
Though the U.S. has been criticized for the counter-productive nature of its military action in the region, Syrian rights groups afraid of ISIS capturing additional territory called on the international community to do more.
According to the Associated Press:
With a new wave of airstrikes that were reported as “more effective” in pushing back ISIS fighters on Wednesday, the U.S. continued to press its bombing campaign as part of the solution in Syria. Reporting by the Los Angeles Times discussed both the strategic importance of Kobani and why the fight over the city has so activated the Kurdish community worldwide.
And the Guardian‘s Ewen MacAskill reports on the pressure now being applied on Turkey by the Obama administration which is now publicly voicing concern that Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is not fulfilling his nation’s duty to meet its NATO obligations.
Lastly, in an analysis that also appeared in the Guardian on Wednesday, the American anthropologist and political writer David Graeber—while not ignoring the disastrous role the U.S. military has played in creating the mess—makes a case for local military intervention in Kobani. Arguing that what is now occurring in northwest Syria has at least some parallels with the anti-fascist campaign that fueled the Spanish Civil War in the 1930’s, Graeber writes:
ISIS has targeted Kobani, concludes Graeber, “to take revenge against many of those same revolutionary militias in Kobane, declaring their intention to massacre and enslave – yes, literally enslave – the entire civilian population” while “the Turkish army stands at the border preventing reinforcements or ammunition from reaching the defenders.”
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“Is the world – and this time most scandalously of all, the international left – really going to be complicit in letting history repeat itself?”
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