Thursday, February 19, 2015

The other side of the Kurdish victory in Kobani

February 19, 2015 
By Goran Zaneti S.
Your Middle East

"Celebrations were indeed in order when Kurdish forces kicked out the Islamic State from Kobani. But most locals are unable to return – and of those who do, many end up killed by deadly traps placed by ISIS militants."

The month of January ended with the positive news that the city of Kobani had been cleared of the last remaining Islamic State or ISIS terrorists after months of battle. Kurds celebrated the key victory in the city and across the border at camps in Turkey. However, weeks after its liberation, the small city and its environs are hardly free of the dangers created by ISIS. Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, may have completely driven ISIS out of the territory but the risk of explosive remnants of war remain. These dangers in addition to the destruction resulting from four months of siege means a long road ahead for the people of Kobani.

Read more at Your Middle East by clicking here »

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Kobani: A small but important town

Kurds watching the battle for Kobani from across the border in Turkey
Photo from David Takaki (@Truth2Pwer), 2014

The small town of Kobani became internationally-known with the long and deadly battle against terrorists of the Islamic State or ISIS. However, the people of this small town had been resisting attacks long before 2014. The Syrian regime treated Kurds as second-class citizens, even stripping many of their citizenships, and thus, making them illegal in their own country. The decades-long oppression of Kurds culminated in 2004 when Kurds in Syria began experiencing crackdowns against political dissidents in their communities. Among the political groups being targeted was the Democratic Union Party, or PYD, which would years later lead the fight against the al-Qaeda/al-Nusra and ISIS attacks against Kurdish territories.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Time to pressure Turkey to change its role in Syria and Iraq

February 11, 2015 
By Goran Zaneti S.
Your Middle East

"A serious discussion about Turkey’s current role should be brought to light by all American stakeholders"

The war against the group known as the Islamic State, or ISIS, has been a slow one and much of its progress is hampered by a lack of commitment among regional partners. These partners, namely the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey, have been more concerned with the removal of Bashar al-Assad in Syria than the more urgent threat now posed by ISIS. Turkey’s role has been particularly concerning as the border shared with Syria remains largely open to Syrian fighters that allegedly include members of al-Nusra and the Islamic State. In most cases, Turkey has undermined U.S. interests with regards to ISIS. U.S. politicians, however, have done little to compel Turkey to change its role in the conflict.

Read more at Your Middle East by clicking here »