Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The US "war on ISIS"



These articles reveal the deception involved in America's "war on ISIS"

ISIS Video: America’s Air Dropped Weapons Now in Our Hands
In a new video, ISIS shows American-made weapons it says were intended for the Kurds but actually were air dropped into territory they control.





At least one bundle of U.S. weapons airdropped in Syria appears to have fallen into the hands of ISIS, a dangerous misfire in the American mission to speed aid to Kurdish forces making their stand in Kobani.

An ISIS-associated YouTube account posted a new video online Tuesdayentitled, “Weapons and munitions dropped by American planes and landed in the areas controlled by the Islamic State in Kobani.” The video was also posted on the Twitter account of “a3maq news,” which acts as an unofficial media arm of ISIS. 

The outfit has previously posted videos of ISIS fighters firing American made Howitzer cannons and seizing marijuana fields in Syria.

ISIS had broadly advertised its acquisition of a broad range of U.S.-made weapons during its rampage across Iraq. ISIS videos have showed its fighters driving U.S. tanks, MRAPs, Humvees. There are unconfirmed reports ISIS has stolen three fighter planes from Iraqi bases it conquered.


The authenticity of this latest video could not be independently confirmed, but the ISIS fighters in the video are in possession of a rich bounty of American hand grenades, rounds for small rockets, and other supplies that they will surely turn around and use on
Video screenshot
On Monday, White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said the U.S. government was confident that the emergency airdropped supplies for the Kurdish forces near Kobani were falling into the right hands.

We feel very confident that, when we air drop support as we did into Kobani… we’ve been able to hit the target in terms of reaching the people we want to reach,” Rhodes told CNN. “What I can assure people is that, when we are delivering aid now, we focus it on the people we want to receive that assistance. Those are civilians in need. Those are forces that we’re aligned with in the fight against ISIL [the government’s preferred acronym for ISIS], and we take precautions to make sure that it’s not falling into the wrong hands.”

Rhodes was responding to questions about a Monday report in The Daily Beastthat U.S. humanitarian aid was flowing into ISIS controlled areas near Kobani by truck. That aid was mostly food and medical supplies, not the kind of lethal weapons in the new ISIS video.

ISIS: Region-wide Genocide
Portended in 2007 Now Fully Realized
Dead American Journalist the Latest Ploy to Cover-up Regional Genocide Years in the Making

20 August, 2014

August 20, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - American journalist James Wright Foley was allegedly brutally murdered on video by terrorists of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS). The development would at first appear to portray a terrorist organization openly declaring itself an enemy of the West, but in reality, it is the latest attempt by the West itself to cover up the true genesis of the current region-wide catastrophe of its own creation now unfolding in the Middle East. 

As early as 2007, the stage was being set for the regional genocide now unfolding from Syria and Lebanon along the Mediterranean to northern Iraq. The "sudden" appearance of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, otherwise known as ISIS, betrays years of its rise and the central part it played in Western-backed violence seeking to overthrow the government of Syria starting in 2011 amid the cover of the so-called "Arab Spring." 

While the "Free Syrian Army" brand was created and used to obfuscate the hardcore, sectarian extremism that pervaded mercenary forces raised against Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had warned starting in 2011 that it was neither a pro-democratic uprising, nor a moderate, secular rebellion - but rather hordes of foreign-backed terrorists with ties to Al Qaeda.

The US State Department itself would admit that Al Qaeda's Syrian franchise, Jabhat al-Nusra (an offshoot of ISIS), was among the most prominent armed militant groups fighting the Syrian government, beginning in 2011 onward. The US State Department's official press statement titled, "Terrorist Designations of the al-Nusrah Front as an Alias for al-Qa'ida in Iraq," stated explicitly that: 

Since November 2011, al-Nusrah Front has claimed nearly 600 attacks – ranging from more than 40 suicide attacks to small arms and improvised explosive device operations – in major city centers including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. During these attacks numerous innocent Syrians have been killed.

It was clear that the nationwide, extensive operations of al-Nusra were more than an apparition - instead they constituted the true nature of the armed conflict ravaging Syria - an armed enterprise that was clearly state-sponsored and the realization of long-laid plans by the West to reorder the region through chaos. 

Rise of ISIS Portended in 2007

But even before 2011, analysts and journalists warned of an impending regional sectarian war being intentionally engineered by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and other regional partners. The goal was to undermine and overthrow the government of Iran by first using covert violence to eliminate its arc of influence from Baghdad to Damascus, and of course in Lebanon. 

Image: The war in Syria was always against foreign-backed sectarian extremists - just as was warned by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2011. The reason why despite hundreds of millions of dollars in cash, weapons, and equipment flowing to "moderates," Al Qaeda has still managed to become the most prominent militant group now on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border, is because there were never any "moderates" to begin with. 

Veteran journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Seymour Hersh warned in a proph    etic 2007 New Yorker article titled, "The Redirection Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?" that (emphasis added): 

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
Also in Hersh's 2007 article, was mentioned ongoing support by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood for the purpose of creating the networks necessary to execute the coming violence that would be unleashed in 2011. He reported (emphasis added): 
             
There is evidence that the Administration’s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, “The Americans have provided both political and financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.” He said that Khaddam, who now lives in Paris, was getting money from Saudi Arabia, with the knowledge of the White House. (In 2005, a delegation of the Front’s members met with officials from the National Security Council, according to press reports.) A former White House official told me that the Saudis had provided members of the Front with travel documents.

Both the "Arab Spring" cover, and the networks of armed extremists were being built simultaneously in 2007, and unleashed in earnest in 2011 amid a regional political conflagration. 

Image: Just as was predicted, the West's premeditated plan to arm and
back sectarian extremists would cause regional genocide. Also predicted
was that these targeted minorities would seek Hezbollah, Syrian, and
Iranian protection. 

Hersh would also touch upon the coming sectarian nature of the West's designs, noting that even former CIA officers knew it would be precisely the Iranian arc of influence that would end up protecting religious minorities from the legions of terror the West was preparing to unleash. Hersh reported:

Robert Baer, a former longtime C.I.A. agent in Lebanon, has been a severe critic of Hezbollah and has warned of its links to Iranian-sponsored terrorism. But now, he told me, “we’ve got Sunni Arabs preparing for cataclysmic conflict, and we will need somebody to protect the Christians in Lebanon. It used to be the French and the United States who would do it, and now it’s going to be Nasrallah and the Shiites.  

It would be difficult for anyone today to read Hersh's 2007 report and interpret as anything less than a verbatim outline of what the West had planned and now, since 2011, fully executed. It would also be difficult to claim that the regional presence of ISIS is not the full realization of the conflict Hersh warned the world of in 2007. 

ISIS' Multinational Military Force the Product of Years of Western State-Sponsorship 

It is confirmed that since 2011, the United States, Turkey, France, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar have been heavily arming terrorists along both Syria's border with Turkey in the north and with Jordan in the south. While official speeches from behind podiums have expressed a reluctance to assist militants fighting in Syria, the presence of the militants are entirely a product of foreign backing. 
Image: ISIS began its invasion into Iraqi territory from NATO-member Turkey, through Syria and riding in Toyota Hilux trucks - identical to those provided to "moderates" by the US State Department as part of multi-million dollar "non-lethal" aid packages. ISIS did not take these trucks from "moderates," the moderates never existed to begin with. From the beginning, it was the West's plan to raise a mercenary army of sectarian extremists operating under the banner of Al Qaeda. 

In the Telegraph's 2013 article titled, "US and Europe in 'major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb'," it is reported: 

...3,000 tons of weapons dating back to the former Yugoslavia have been sent in 75 planeloads from Zagreb airport to the rebels, largely via Jordan since November. 

 The story confirmed the origins of ex-Yugoslav weapons seen in growing numbers in rebel hands in online videos, as described last month by The Daily Telegraph and other newspapers, but suggests far bigger quantities than previously suspected.

The shipments were allegedly paid for by Saudi Arabia at the bidding of the United States, with assistance on supplying the weapons organised through Turkey and Jordan, Syria's neighbours. But the report added that as well as from Croatia, weapons came "from several other European countries including Britain", without specifying if they were British-supplied or British-procured arms.

British military advisers however are known to be operating in countries bordering Syria alongside French and Americans, offering training to rebel leaders and former Syrian army officers. The Americans are also believed to be providing training on securing chemical weapons sites inside Syria.

Additionally, The New York Times in its article, "Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With C.I.A. Aid," admits that:

With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders.

The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year, the data shows. It has grown to include more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari military-style cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and, to a lesser degree, at other Turkish and Jordanian airports.

The US State Department had also announced it was sending hundreds of millions of dollars more in aid, equipment and even armored vehicles to militants operating in Syria, along with demands of its allies to "match" the funding to reach a goal of over a billion dollars. The NYT would report in their article, "Kerry Says U.S. Will Double Aid to Rebels in Syria," that:

With the pledge of fresh aid, the total amount of nonlethal assistance from the United States to the coalition and civic groups inside the country is $250 million. During the meeting here, Mr. Kerry urged other nations to step up their assistance, with the objective of providing $1 billion in international aid. 

The US has also admitted that it was officially arming and equipping terrorists inside of Syria. The Washington Post's article, "U.S. weapons reaching Syrian rebels," reported: 

The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.

More recently, scores of Toyota Hilux pick-up trucks were delivered to terrorists along the Turkish-Syrian border, which would later be seen among ISIS convoys invading northern Iraq. In a PRI report titled, "This one Toyota pickup truck is at the top of the shopping list for the Free Syrian Army — and the Taliban," it stated:
Recently, when the US State Department resumed sending non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels, the delivery list included 43 Toyota trucks.

Hiluxes were on the Free Syrian Army's wish list. Oubai Shahbander, a Washington-based advisor to the Syrian National Coalition, is a fan of the truck.
It is clear that ISIS did not materialize from sand dunes in Iraq's northern region, nor are they procuring immense armories of weaponry by picking Kalashnikovs from date trees. They are the visible materialization of years of material support openly reported by the Western media allegedly sent to "moderate rebels" who do not exist. If they did exist, there has been no plausible explanation to account for how ISIS has managed to procure more weapons, cash, fighters, and influence throughout the region than "moderates" receiving backing from the combined resources of the US, Europe, Turkey, the Saudis, Qataris, and Jordanians.

Maintaining Plausible Deniability 
Image: American journalist James Wright Foley was allegedly beheaded
by ISIS terrorists. Before his execution, a masked terrorists with a British
accent threatened the US, the same US that in fact has created, armed,
funded, directed, and to this day perpetuates ISIS' activities across the
region. The depraved propaganda ploy is designed to create plausible
deniability for the West, creating the illusion that ISIS and the US are
enemies, not allies. 

The logical conclusion to be drawn by those observing the last 3 years of immense funding, weapon deliveries, political, diplomatic, and even military training for terrorists fighting in Syria and now in Iraq, is that there were never any "moderates" to begin with. It was, as veteran journalist Seymour Hersh had warned in 2007, always sectarian extremists ideologically aligned with Al Qaeda that the West had planned to utilize against its enemies in the Middle East.

To deflect the general public from ever arriving at this obvious conclusion, a myriad of public relations ploys have been designed to portray ISIS not as the armed fist of Western hegemony in the Middle East, but a villain not only beyond its control, but posing as a direct threat to the West itself. Token bombing in northern Iraq and the arming of Kurds served dual purposes. The bombings made it appear that the US was fighting, not backing ISIS, while arming the Kurds helped further Balkanize Iraq as part of the classic hegemonic stratagem of "divide and conquer."

More recently, in what is obvious propaganda, American journalist James Wright Foley was allegedly abducted, then murdered on video by ISIS terrorists. Throughout the video, before the alleged execution, a man's voice, apparently the masked individual about to carry out the execution, speaks with a British accent, condemning the United States, threatening US President Barack Obama, and promising retaliation against the West.

Regardless of the veracity of the events portrayed in the video, the fact that it was created in the first place indicates a need by the West and those directly handling, arming, and funding ISIS' activities both in Syria and in Iraq, to create "distance" between the West and the ISIS mercenaries executing their foreign policy in their long-planned regional sectarian bloodbath. Videos like those featuring Foley, splashed sensationally across the front pages of Western websites and newspapers when US casualties in wars gone bad are otherwise buried, indicate a concerted propaganda campaign aimed at manipulating public perception, not honest, responsible reportage.

The predictable reaction of Americans is to recoil at ISIS' barbarism, despite similar barbarism being carried out for years in Syria and Iraq by Western-backed terrorists. With the apparent death of Foley, the US has created in the minds of many, plausible deniability regarding its well-documented role in the premeditated creation and continued perpetuation of ISIS. For Western special interests willing to lie to invade and occupy Iraq at the cost of over a million lives, including thousands of Americans, what would one more murdered American mean in an attempt to continue advancing its destructive, misanthropic agenda?

It should be remembered that Western designs in the Middle East are but one stage of a greater agenda. The reordering of the Middle East with immense standing armies of terrorists answering to Western dictates, will be used to move against Russia in the Caucasus region, and against China within and along the boundaries of Xinjiang province


Assault on Kobane



July

On July 2, 2014, following the conquer of Mosul and large regions of north-western Iraq, the Kurdish region of Kobanê (Arabic: عين العرب‎Ayn Al-Arab) in central northern Syria bordering Turkey was viciously attacked by Islamic State aka ISIS forces with tanks and heavy weapons brought over from Iraq. According to Kurdish sources, ISIS has fired more than 3,000 mortars in four days.[1]
In addition to the 200,000 people living in Kobane canton in peace time, there are currently at least the same number of refugees, mostly Kurds from other northern regions of Syria, taking shelter there.[2]

Erdogan's border

The pattern and the involvement of Turkey follows what has been seen in the eastern part of Syrian Kurdistan since late 2012 with theAssault on Ras Al-Ayn.[3] The border regions with Turkey both west and east of Kobane canton are already controlled by ISIS, including the border posts at Jarablus and Tal Abyad (see Syrian Military Maps). In an "urgent call" for help to the international community on July 6, the Kurdish National Congress (of Syrian Kurdistan) pointed out that the attackers are able to move freely across the border and in Turkey, while the army is turning a blind eye and wounded ISIS fighters are even treated in Turkish hospitals.[4]

Kidnapped student

Already in late May, hundreds of schoolchildren from Kobane went by bus to Aleppo to do their exams, crossing ISIS-controlled territory. On return, they were abducted. ISIS released the female students and younger children, but kept initially 148 13-14 year old ninth grader boys, promising to release them after they'd receive ten days of "Islamic education". Which did not happen, Only a small number were released or managed to flee, and despite protests from several sides even including Human Rights Watch, as of mid-September about 130 of them are still held captive near Jarablus, with reports of heavy indoctrination and light torture.[5][6][7]

The deputy foreign relations minister of the Kobane canton, Idriss Nassan, detailed the offensive as follows:[8]
IS began its offensive by first capturing the villages of Zor Mughar, Beyadi and Ziyarete, 40-45 kilometers (25-28 miles) west of Kobani. The YPG pushed IS out of these villages after hard-fought battles. IS left behind more than 100 dead, a Humvee, a tank, some Doushka heavy machine guns and automatic weapons. YPG lost 16 of its fighters.
On July 7, the IS target was the Kun Eftar village, slightly north of the Turkish sovereign territory of the Tomb of Suleiman Shah. Here YPG lost two fighters but IS lost 20 to 30. IS could not achieve its goals. Next came attacks from Tel Abyad in the east. On July 8, IS attacked Evdiko village 8 kilometers (5 miles) west of Tel Abyad. In that clash, six YPG fighters and civilians were killed. Another IS target was Abu Surra village, 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Tel Abyad. There, IS blew up a bomb-laden truck at a YPG checkpoint, killing four YPG fighters.
YPG Snipers in Kobane

By July 8, Kurdish officials were speaking of at least one village reclaimed (Zormixar), and 200 ISIS fighters killed, with no word on their own losses.[9] On the same day, Kurdish news agency Firat put the number of killed ISIS fighters at 270, with 21 fighters of Rojava's self-defense militia People's Protection Units (YPG) and one civilian dead on their side.[10]

According to Fehim Taştekin writing for Al Monitor, the reasons for the assault are:[8]
  • IS encountered the toughest resistance in Syria at Rojava and despite all its efforts, could not overcome it. Rojava became a major obstruction to IS.
  • Kobane is the weakest link among three cantons of Rojava, which are not contiguous. Nassan and all other Kurds believe that by capturing Kobane, the IS wants to wipe out the autonomy project.
  • If Kobane falls, the IS will next target the Mursitpinar border crossing to Turkey to further consolidate its presence on the Turkish border.
  • IS cannot establish a land connection between Jarablus and Tel Abyad, which it controls, by using the 85-kilometer (53-mile) road parallel to the Turkish border that links those two towns. They now have to travel 250 kilometers (160 miles) for the same trip.
On July 11, Firat reports that the YPG has "for the first time" used anti-tank missiles, destroying an ISIS-manned tank in the village of Carikli.[11] Participants of a solidarity vigil action in the Turkish border village of Ziyaret report that a train carrying Turkish tanks was seen driving through the region with unknown destination.[12]
YPG fighter firing an anti-tank missile on July 11

A YPG press release on July 13 states that 61 ISIS fighters had been killed during the last 24 hours in continued attacks on several fronts.[13] In another statement ISIS is accused of using chemical weaponsin their attacks. Traces had been found on two dead YPG fighters (photos published with the statement) and a call was made to the international community to come investigate details, as Kobane's situation under siege doesn't give the local authorities access to the equipment necessary to do so.[14]

People stream across Rojava border in the night of July 19/20

After thousands attended solidarity events on the Turkish side of the border, in the night of July 15, about 300 Turkish Kurds teared down the border fence and crossed into Rojava to join the fight,[15] which continues on three fronts: To the West around Zor Mixar, to the South in the villages on the banks of Euphrates, and to the East around Kendal, Evdıke and Gıre Sor. The nearest ISIS came to the city of Kobane is 35 kilometers, while their most powerful mortars reach 25 kilometers.[16]

On July 19, tens of thousands gathered on both sides of the border to celebrate the second birthday of the so-called "Rojava Revolution". Despite Turkish police using tear gas and water cannons trying to stop them, at least a thousand people managed to tear down the border fence and cross over to Kobane to join the still ongoing fight against ISIS.[17]

After some more days of fierce fighting, ISIS had to retreat and on July 22, the Kurds started a counter-offensive named "Revenge for the martyrs of Kobane" securing the borders of Kobane canton before ISIS would be able to re-group. The stated goal of ISIS, to conquer Kobane before the end of Ramadan, had no chance of being reached anymore.[18]

September

Kobane Fronts.jpg
On September 15, 2014, while over in the US a debate on if and how to bomb ISIS positions in Iraq and Syria was going on, and how this could lead to "strange bedfellows", ISIS started their yet heaviest attacks on Kobane from three directions (see above illustration) with tanks and heavy artillery and ongoing support from NATO-member Turkey which keeps the borders open for them. On September 17 several sources report about a train delivering fighters and material to the Turkish side of the border near Tel Abyad, stopping and unloading to the Syrian side in the village of Silib Qeran, which has no train station. Due to the intensity of attacks, the YPG starts to evacuate citizens from villages east of Kobane town, with the latter said to host 600-700,000 people at that time - about three times as much as normal.[19][20]

Frontline Kobane.jpg


Sweeping through the canton


In the following days the Jihadis continued to advance towards Kobane city and came in distance to shell it with long-range artillery. People started to flee to the Turkish border, where they were stuck and prevented from entering by Turkish military. Only after Western Journalists arrived on September 19 was the border finally opened. People protesting the closed border on the Turkish side had earlier been treated with tear gas and water cannons.[21] As of September 20, 45,000 Kurds have crossed the border into Turkey at eight places, while at least 300 Turkish Kurds crossed in the other direction to join the fight against ISIS.[22]
September 19: Situation on Turkish border before it was finally opened

In an interview the Premier of Kobane Anwar Moslem speaks of several trains who have been delivering support and fighters to the approaching forces from the Turkish side, and says many eyewitnesses have seen them. He says he will make them available to journalists if they come to Kobane.[23] At a September 20 press conference in Turkey's parliament, MP Demir Celik claimed that the recipients of the material on the trains were veteran Turkish Special Forces fighting with "the group presented to us as ISIS". He claims to have reliable information that they are the backbone of ISIS' strategical moves from the taking of Mosul to the ongoing attack on Kobane, numbering not less than 2,000 officers "who in the 1990s were cutting off the noses and ears of Kurdish (PKK) fighters".[24]


Meanwhile a Turkish nurse went public with a letter to parliament and several media organizations, detailing how she has treated many wounded ISIS members and higher-ups at the private hospital she works at, and now is "sick and tired" of treating people "who chop off heads." She says the people arrive there under false name and are introduced as Syrian "opposition members". Several details are given.
"The ISIL commander named Muhammet Ali R. who was admitted to our hospital on Aug. 7 was treated at room number 323. Many of his bodyguards kept watch around the hospital. Many other ISIL commanders like him and soldiers have been treated at our hospital, and returned to war after the completion of their treatment. I don't want to help these people. I want you to inspect these hospitals. And I am referring the owners of the hospital and its management to God."[25]
Refugees from the villages of Yapsê and Dinayikê, arriving in Suruç on the other side of the border facing Kobane, report that they have seen a large number of buses approaching the border in the night of September 14, one day before the offensive started. They unloaded what the witnesses claim were "up to 3,000 people with beards and wearing robes" who crossed the border under Turkish military supervision and passed through their villages.[26]

These stories together with the fact that the 49 Turkish hostages held by ISIS were released on September 20, and the Turkish government admitted that there has been "a deal", raised questions with many inside and outside Turkey about what exactly this deal might have been. Top PKK officials accuse the AKP government of "selling out Kobane" and threaten to dump the ongoing peace process between the Turkish Kurds and the government.[27]

Panic spreads

September 22: Kobane border on the Turkish side

As of September 23, the official number of refugees due to the events in Kobane reached 130,000, with Amnesty International calling on Turkey to keep the borders open and the international community to provide assistance dealing with the crisis.[28] Some Kurdish sources including the PYD head claim that the numbers are vastly exaggerated by Turkey.[29] People trying to return to join the fight after they brought their families over to Turkey are often not allowed back. By September 24 there are reports of 5,000 people trying to return but being prevented to do so by Turkish forces. Some accuse Turkey of having created panic with those huge numbers and reports of Kobane being "evacuated", which made them leave in the first place. They suspect the intent is to "empty Kobane" of Kurds.[30]

A September 22 YPG statement reports about casualty numbers in the first week. According to this, 232 ISIS members were killed, four tanks, 13 military vehicles and 7 others carrying heavy weapons destroyed. 32 YPG/YPJ fighters lost their lives defending Kobane. The ISIS advance on the eastern front was halted, while there was still heavy fighting on the other fronts.[31] A YPG statement from a day later says 84 ISIS fighters had been killed during the last day and their advance halted on all fronts, although intense attacks continued.[32] It is unclear and not mentioned at all if and how much the US bombing campaign, that started in the early morning between the statements and is said to have included strikes on Tal Abyad, influenced the events.


Kobane 27 Sept 2014.jpg
On September 27, the BBC claims that "Islamic State fighters besieging the Syrian town of Kobane on the Turkish border have been targeted by air strikes, reports from the area say",[33] while in reality reports from the ground say that there have been no strikes against ISIS positions by the planes flying over Kobane that day.[34]


On September 30, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reports that "ISIS beheaded 4 fighters from YPG after capturing them in EIn al-Arab”Kobane” countryside, 3 of them were females."[35]

October

Closing in on the city


On October 2, SOHR reports as urgent that ISIS is hundreds of meters away from Kobane:
SOHR was informed that clashes took place between ISIS and YPG hundreds of meters away form Ein al-Arab Kobane from the easte and south-east of the city, clashes also taking place 2-3 kms away west of the city, amid fears of breaking into the city by the IS at any moment and commites massacres and kills whats left of the civilians who refused to flee their houses . ISIS have taken over 350 villages in the past 16 days, and displaces no less than 300,000 from Kobane and Its countryside, the IS also stool dozens of thousands of sheep , houses , cars . ISIS also settled its supporters in Zerek village in the western countryside of Ein al-Arab “Kobane” , and slaughtered a Kurdish civilian from Seren area, after he was captured. [36]
Miştenûr hill overlooking Kobane town

Once ISIS came into shelling distance of Kobane city, they made use of it to the extent that several rounds of artillery landed across the border in Turkey, which led to the Turkish army positioning dozens of tanks on their side of the border. In the early days of October, the Turkish parliament approved military action in Syria and president and prime minister started to make noises of being willing to do "whatever it takes" to save Kobane. As of October 4, no action was taken and no "coalition" airstrikes on ISIS positions were observed.[37] Meanwhile, reports of Turkish police using tear gas and water cannons against protesters, as well as the military engaging in cooperation with the ISIS militants at the border continued.[38]


After days without advance but shelling of Kobane town and following promises that they would hold prayer in town on the first day of the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha (October 4), ISIS started another offensive on October 2 with concentration on trying to take the strategic hill of Miştenûr overseeing Kobane. According to an October 4 YPG statement, several attack waves were repulsed with 67 ISIS fighters and 10 defenders dead.[39]


20141004 Kobane battle.jpg

Following remarks by US vice president Biden about Turkey's role in the rise of ISIS and Erdogan "admitting mistakes" to him about "letting too many people in", on October 4 Erdogan demanded an apology from Biden or he would be "history to me", denying that he ever made those remarks and claiming that "Foreign fighters have never entered Syria from our country".[40] Just hours later, Biden apologized.[41] On the afternoon of that day, Kurdish protestors on the Turkish side of the border threw stones at a Turkish TV team after accusing them of biased reporting. In the following riot police assault several Western journalists came under tear gas together with the protesters.[42][43]


As on the days before, on October 5 many were watching and cheering from the Turkish side of the border when YPG destroyed an ISIS tank below Miştenûr hill:

ill:


Entering the city


With intensifying shelling and only sporadic "coalition" airstrikes without effect, on Monday reports of ISIS tanks on Miştenûr hill and raised black flags in the eastern part of Kobane started to come in. According to some, street fight inside the city has started. Writes The Guardian:
Meanwhile, Saleh Muslim, co-chair of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union party (PYD), went to Ankara this weekend to hold meetings with Turkish security officials to discuss possible Turkish assistance in defending Kobani against Isis. Turkey’s government has vowed it will not sit idly by and let Kobani fall.
Turkish media reported that security officials in Ankara urged Muslim to convince the YPG, the armed wing of the PYD that is currently battling Isis in Kobani, to join the ranks of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and to “take an open stance against the Syrian regime” of Bashar al-Assad.[44]
In a statement to Firat News Agency, Salih Muslim said that "whoever is going to act, should do so now."[45] In a highly informative and pretty much to-the-point article about the situation, David Stockman closes with the questions:

October 6: Black flag on a smaller hill below Miştenûr oгverlooking Kobane

If the Turks are unwilling to stop an easily preventable mass slaughter by ISIS on their own doorstep what kind of fractured and riven coalition has Washington actually assembled? And how will this coalition of the disingenuous, the hypocritical and the politically opportunistic ever succeed in bringing peace and stability to the historic cauldron of tribal and religious conflict in Mesopotamia and the Levant that two decades of Washington’s wars and regime change interventions have only drastically intensified?[46]
When pictures showing ISIS flags raised on a hill over Kobane and more reports of fighting in the city surfaced in the afternoon, solidarity demonstrations started all over Europe and in many Turkish cities, with some of the latter turning violent pretty quickly. By night, large crowds were for example blocking and marching on the TEM highway in Istanbul.[47] By late Tuesday, at least nine people had died in the heavy and ongoing clashes between Kurds, AKP supporters and the police all over Turkey.[48] After a night in which military was deployed in several cities in Turkey's Kurdish regions to impose a curfew, the death toll had risen to at least 14.[49]

Airstrikes turn serious


In the late night of Monday and for the first time in broad daylight on Tuesday, the "coalition" conducted a series of air strikes witnessed by journalists on the ground, followed by a rather quiet morning. According to the Department of Defense:
An airstrike south of Kobani destroyed three ISIL armed vehicles and damaged another, and another strike southeast of Kobani destroyed an ISIL armed vehicle carrying anti-aircraft artillery. Two airstrikes southwest of Kobani damaged an ISIL tank, and another strike south of Kobani destroyed an ISIL unit.[50]
An October 7 YPG statement did not mention the air strikes but several successful operations in direct combat, despite shelling "from three directions", claiming that in the last 24 hours 67 ISIS fighters died while the death toll among the defenders was 12.[51]


Statements from the Turkish president and prime minister told the world that "air strikes are not enough" to defeat ISIS and kept making demands that the Syrian Government should be targeted as well before they participate in any coalition.[52][53]


Eight air strikes on October 8 "destroyed five ISIL armed vehicles, an ISIL supply depot, an ISIL command and control compound, an ISIL logistics compound, and eight ISIL occupied barracks, plus damaged another", according to a U.S. Central Command statement. Agreeing with Kurdish sources and contradicting media reports about the fall of Kobane, the statement says that most of the city remains under YPG control.[54]


20141010 Kobane battle.jpg


In an interview on Tuesday evening, Salih Muslim said that the strikes had started to become effective on Monday (incidently following his statement that "whoever is going to act, should do so now"), but pointed out that they wouldn't be necessary if only his people would be allowed to buy anti-tank weapons and missiles on the international market and Turkey would open the border gate to make a delivery possible (which he says they had promised him to do days ago in Ankara) and/or stop their assistance to ISIS. Like with the Kurds protesting in Turkey and all over Europe, these are the demands, contrary to what some Western media make it look like: that anybody wants Turkey to invade Rojava.[55]


October 11: More than twenty thousand people[56]march in solidarity with Kobane in Düsseldorf, Germany


In three October 11 interviews with the Kobane canton premier minister Anwar Moslem, foreign minister Idris Naasan and PYD co-president Asya Abdullah, the latter from Kobane city, the officials called for a corridor through Turkey for humanitarian aid and weapons. While the fighting morale is said to be high and they think to be able to defend the city center "for months", all report that there are still many civilians in Kobane and the ISIS gangs now control water and electricity supply. According to Asya Abdullah, ISIS presses local Arab youths in the regions they control into coming to Kobane as reinforcements, promising booty. Which leads to high casualty numbers among the untrained fighters. She calls on Arabs and all other groups in the region to not allow ISIS to "destroy the fraternity of peoples".[57][58][59]


International voices like UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura joined the choir demanding immediate aid for Kobane.[60][61]
After a week with intensified and thanks to better coordination between YPG and the US-led "coalition" more precise air strikes,[62]some recently lost territory was gained back from the ISIS gangs and a hill outside town was captured, with the larger Miştenûr hill still in ISIS hands. Even while still no weapons had reached the Kurds and ISIS got reinforcements from other parts of their controlled territory, a YPG commander said on Friday, October 17, that the initiative was now with them.[63][64]
20141014 Kobane battle.jpg
20141017 Kobane battle.jpg


Airdrops deliver supplies


In the night to Monday, October 20, for the first time weapons, ammunition and medical supplies were delivered to Kobane in multiple airdrops by a US Military C-130 plane. The weapons were supplies originally delivered to the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq, which gave the go-ahead to divert them to Kobane.[65] According to a Turkish Foreign ministry statement on Monday, Turkish airspace was not used to carry out the airdrops, but Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu claimed that Turkey "is" facilitating Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces to cross into Kobane.[66] On the same day he was allowed to prominently express his urge to topple the "Syrian regime" in The Guardian, calling on the international community to make "good prevail over evil" (Turkey over Syria, that is).[67]


On the day before, Serena Shim, a journalist for Iranian Press TV who investigated the border incidents were ISIS militants crossed over from Turkey with the help or turning of a blind eye of the Turkish military, and was accused by Turkish Intelligence of "spying", died in a car crash on the way to her hotel in Suruç. Shim was a U.S. citizen of Lebanese origin.[68][69]


Asked about the airdrops and Erdogan's remarks about the PYD being a terrorist organization no different from PKK (and ISIS), State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf insisted that "the PYD is a different group than the PKK legally under the United States law"[70] (PKK is listed by the State Department as a terrorist organisation since 1997. PYD is not on the list).[71]


Following their reinforcements of the weekend and the US airdrops, ISIS attacked with full force on Monday, maybe to use the opportunity before any of the Turkey-announced Peshmerga reinforcements could arrive. A YPG press release on Tuesday evening speaks of 11 dead defenders and over 70 dead attackers on several fronts in the last 24 hours, including two foiled attempts at the ISIS speciality of suicide car bombings.[72]

References

  1. Jump up↑ WHAT'S HAPPENING IN KOBANÊ?, Amed Dicle, July 6, 2014
  2. Jump up↑ ISIS MEMBERS COMING THROUGH TURKEY, Interview with Salih Muslim, July 8, 2014
  3. Jump up↑ The Last Stand of the Heroic Kurds at Kobani, James Harkin, Newsweek, August 19, 2014
  4. ↑ Jump up to:8.0 8.1 Islamic State moves to capture another Turkish border crossing, Fehim Taştekin, Al Monitor, July 10, 2014
  5. Jump up↑ Kurds Claim 200 ISIS Dead in Rojava Battles By MUTLU CIVIROGLU, Rudaw, July 8, 2014
  6. Jump up↑ Fierce clashes continue in Kobanê, Firat News Agency, July 8, 2014
  7. Jump up↑ YPG responds to ISIS with anti-tank missiles, Firat News Agency, July 11, 2014
  8. Jump up↑ Turkey deploys tanks on the Rojava border, Firat News Agency, July 11, 2014
  9. Jump up↑ YPG inflicts heavy losses on ISIS in Kobane, Firat News Agency, July 13, 2014
  10. Jump up↑ Evidence about chemical weapons used in Western Kurdistan (Syria) by ISIS, YPG statement published by Kurdish Info, July 14, 2014
  11. Jump up↑ 300 people tear down border fence to join YPG, Firat News Agency, July 15, 2014
  12. Jump up↑ People stream across Rojava border, Firat News Agency, July 20, 2014
  13. Jump up↑ Kurds repulse ISIS once more, Firat News Agency, July 26, 2014
  14. Jump up↑ ArjDnn on twitter, September 17, 2014
  15. Jump up↑ Two Thousand Turkish Special Forces in ISIS , Kurdish Question, September 20, 2014
  16. Jump up↑ Turkey’s IS predicament with US, Kurds, Cengiz Çandar, Al Monitor, September 23, 2014
  17. Jump up↑ Twitter, September 22, 2014
  18. Jump up↑ No permission to return to Kobanê, Firat News Agency, September 24, 2014
  19. Jump up↑ PG: 232 gang members killed in Kobanê in one week, Firat News Agency, September 22, 2014
  20. Jump up↑ YPG: 84 ISIS members killed in Kobanê, Firat News Agency, September 23, 2014
  21. Jump up↑ Balance sheet of historic Miştenûr battle, Firat News Agency, October 4, 2014
  22. Jump up↑ UAE demands 'clarification' of Biden's comments, Associated Press, October 5, 2014
  23. Jump up↑ Jenan Moussa and Harald Doornbos on twitter, October 4, 2014
  24. Jump up↑ BBC crew come under attack near Kobane (VIDEO), BBC, October 5, 2014
  25. Jump up↑ twitter, October 6, 2014
  26. Jump up↑ Airstrikes Pound ISIL in Syria, Iraq, U.S. Department of Defense, October 7, 2014
  27. Jump up↑ Saleh Moslem: Turkey has not kept its promise, Firat News Agency, October 8, 2014
  28. Jump up↑ "Mit Sicherheit wird Kobani nicht fallen" (German), Die Welt, October 11, 2014
  29. Jump up↑ Asya Abdullah: Corridor is essential, Firat News Agency, October 11, 2014
  30. Jump up↑ 21 Air Strikes in Kobani, CENTCOM statement, October 14, 2014
  31. Jump up↑ YPG: Gangs intensify attacks with reinforcements, Firat News Agency, October 17, 2014
  32. Jump up↑ Initiative now with YPG in Kobanê, Firat News Agency, October 17, 2014
  33. Jump up↑ Who will help Turkey help Kobani?, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, The Guardian, October 20, 2014
  34. Jump up↑ Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) are foreign organizations that are designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended.
  35. Jump up↑ YPG Media Release, October 21, 2014


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