ISIL tightens siege on Kobane city, north Syria

30-03-2014

 

ARA News

Kobane, Syria– The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) tightened its siege on Kobane city by cutting water and power supply to the city. 

Moreover, Kurdish residents of Kobane are being exposed to kidnapping at the ISIL-held checkpoints −which surround the city’s suburbs. Several cases of kidnapping were reported among civilians, who were trying to escape the city’s hard conditions and resort to other more safe areas before disappearing at the checkpoints of ISIL, according to local sources.

Amid the continuous siege of Kobane city by the ISIL fighters (which started last week), the al-Qaeda affiliated group of ISIL reportedly threatened of storming into the city, which caused a state of panic among civilians. 

Meanwhile, members of the ISIL have reportedly blocked all roads leading to Kobane city.

On March 21, coinciding with the Kurdish Newroz festival, the ISIL rigged a vehicle which was carrying passengers to Kobane city with explosives and sent the vehicle to the city with the driver and three other passengers. However, an engineering team was able to abort the operation at a YPG-led checkpoint south of Kobane city, local sources reported.

Dozens of Kobane’s residents try to cross the borders into Turkey to look for a safe haven. However, the crossing point −which is reportedly meant to provide Syrians with access in specific humanitarian situations− is only open in the face of those want to return to Syria. 

An official from the border crossing on the Syrian side told ARA News that there are no signs that the Turkish authorities will open the border post for the movement of passengers and goods, despite all the preparations on the Syrian side and the many promises from the Turkish authorities.

“Turkey is cautions regarding this border crossing due to the domination of the Democratic Union Part in Syria (PYD) over the area. The Turkish authorities refuse to recognize the recently established PYD-led self-rule in Syria’s northern areas,” the source said. “Thus, it’s a matter of sovereignty for the Turks.”  

Local activists in Kobane city expressed to ARA News their disappointment about the “continuous promises by the Turkish authorities to reopen the border crossing”.

“We have been repeatedly promised that the crossing will be reopened, but nothing happened. We are in an urgent need to leave the growing violence in the area, especially under the current hard conditions with the blockade of ISIL,” a Kurdish activist in Kobane said. “The ongoing Turkish elections may also have some impacts on the situation at their borders with Syria.” 

Amid all these restrictions, residents of Kobane city are forced to either take risks by passing through areas which the ISIL controls and face the danger of detention and kidnapping, or cross the Turkish borders illegally which also means endangering their lives as Turkish border guards fire to scare people away. 

Last week, a young man from Kobane city was shot dead by the Turkish border guards while trying to enter Turkey illegally. 

 

Source: ARA News

 

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