IS fighters take parts of Syrian town

IS fighters take parts of Syrian town

Monday, October 6, 2014 9:57 pm

A Turkish tank near the Syrian border town of Kobane or Ain Al Arab

A Turkish tank near the Syrian border town of Kobane or Ain Al Arab

Islamic State fighters late Monday seized control of three districts in the strategic Syrian city of Kobane near the Turkish border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“They have taken the industrial zone, Maqtala al-Jadida and Kani Arabane in eastern Kobane after violent combat with Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters” who had far fewer men and arms, it said.

The IS assault on Kobane made Turkey’s main Kurdish party on Monday call on all Kurds to take to streets of the country in protest because of the lack of action by the Ankara government.

“The situation is very critical,” the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) party said in a statement.

“We are calling on our people to take to streets and protest ISIS attacks and the AKP’s stance toward Kobane,” it said, referring to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

The trouble in the border city of Kobane risks poisoning Turkey’s peace talks with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with many Kurds saying the fall of Kobane would be as traumatic as the fall of a main Kurdish city inside Turkey.

Many Turkish Kurds are frustrated with the Turkish government, accusing Ankara of cooperating with IS militants to defeat the idea of an independent Kurdistan.

They are also angry that Turkey has so far launched no military intervention against IS despite having parliamentary authorisation.

Witnesses said hundreds of Kurds congregated in the border town of Suruc after the HDP’s statement to walk to Kobane late Monday night.

In Istanbul, clashes took place between police and pro-Kurdish masked protesters, who blocked a road in the Beyoglu district and hurled fireworks and Molotov cocktails at security forces. The group set fire to a vehicle, Turkish media reported.

In the city’s restive Gazi neighbourhood, protesters set fire to a bus, according to local media.

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