Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Turkey accused of denying Kurds medical help after preventing Syrian Kurds from returning to Kobane to fight ISIL

    Tuesday, October 14, 2014   No comments

Kurdish mother mourns her son killed by ISIL October 10
With medical supplies depleted in the war-ravaged north Syrian town of Kobane, Kurdish activist Blesa Omar rushed three comrades wounded in battle against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) straight to the border to dispatch them to a Turkish hospital.

He spent the next four hours watching them die, one by one, from what he believes were treatable shrapnel wounds, while Turkish border guards refused to let them through the frontier.

"To me it is clear they died because they waited so long. If they had received help, even up to one hour before their deaths, they could have lived," said Omar, 34, an ethnic Kurd originally from Iraq who holds Swedish nationality.

"Once the soldiers realised they were dead, they said, 'Now you can cross with the bodies.' I cannot forget that. It was total chaos, it was a catastrophe," he said, choking back tears.

Deaths of wounded fighters held up at the border have become another emotive charge in a litany of Kurdish grievances against Ankara, which Kurds accuse of turning its back on their kin fighting across the frontier against ISIL.

The anger has brought violence to Turkey itself: Turkey's 15 million-strong Kurdish minority rose up last week in riots in which at least 35 people were killed. On Oct. 14, there were reports that Turkish war planes had bombed Kurdish militants for the first time in two years.

Turkey says it has been generous to Kurds, taking in 200,000 refugees from the Kobane area since Islamic State fighters launched their offensive four weeks ago.

But as the United Nations warns of a potential massacre in Kobane in full view of Turkish tanks that have done nothing to help protect the town, Kurdish anger threatens to unravel a peace process to end a decades-long insurgency in Turkey itself.

Ed Isr

About Ed Isr

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