PKK leader threatens to end peace talks with Turkey if ISIS massacres Kurds

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Syrian Kurdish children, fled from the clashes between ISIS militants and pro-Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) forces in Ayn al-Arab city, wait to return Syria through the Mursitpinar border gate in Suruc district of Sanliurfa, southeastern province of Turkey on September 28, 2014. (Photo: Anadolu - İbrahim Erikan)

Published Thursday, October 2, 2014

Updated at 2:10 pm (GMT +3): Jailed Kurdish militant leader Abdullah Ocalan has warned that peace talks between his group and the Turkish state will come to an end if Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants are allowed to carry out a massacre in a predominantly Kurdish town on the Syrian border.

ISIS militants have besieged the border of town of Kobani for more than two weeks, sending more than 150,000 Syrian Kurds fleeing to Turkey and piling pressure on the NATO member to intervene.

"If this massacre attempt achieves its goal it will end the process," Ocalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), said in a statement released by a pro-Kurdish party delegation which visited him in jail on Wednesday.

President Tayyip Erdogan initiated the peace process with Ocalan in 2012 with the aim of ending a 30-year-old insurgency by militants pushing for greater Kurdish rights. The conflict has killed 40,000 people, most of them Kurds.

"I urge everyone in Turkey who does not want the process and the democracy voyage to collapse to take responsibility in Kobani," Ocalan said in the statement, released on Thursday.

In September, PKK urged young Kurds in Turkey to join the fight against ISIS forces around Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane in Kurdish, the third biggest Kurdish population centre in Syria and until now a safe haven.

"We call on our entire people, as well as our friends, to step up the resistance," the PKK statement said

A PKK leader, Dursun Kalkan, also appealed for "all Kurds to unite their forces," accusing the Turkish government of "collaboration" with ISIS radicals.

Kurdish forces allied to the PKK, the People's Defence Units (YPG), are fighting against ISIS insurgents attacking Kobani. The PKK is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union.

Turkey has been criticized for indirectly encouraging the formation of ISIS through its support of Islamist elements within the Syrian rebellion against the Syrian army and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, criticism that Ankara has rejected.

The town of Kobane is "empty"

Nearly all residents of the embattled Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane and surrounding area have fled an advance by ISIS group jihadists, a monitor said Thursday.

“Kobane is practically empty of its residents now," Abdel Rahman told AFP.

ISIS fighters launched a major offensive against Kobane on September 16 and have advanced to within less than a kilometre of the eastern and southeastern edges of the town.

"Kobane town is now completely surrounded by ISIS" except for the northern side of the border town leading into Turkey, Abdel Rahman said.

Syria accuses Turkey of supporting terrorism

According to Damascus, Turkey, a NATO member and Washington's key ally in the region, has been playing a major role in fueling the armed crisis in Syria by opening its borders and allowing free access to foreign jihadists into Syria.

The Syrian government has repeatedly accused Turkey of harboring, financing, training, and arming militants since violence erupted in March 2011.

Damascus sent letters to the United Nations time and again attacking Turkey’s “destructive” role in the Syrian conflict.

In 2013, Syria’s foreign ministry said in letters addressed to the UN Security Council and to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that “Turkey supports and publicly justifies terrorist, destructive acts against Syria” and “has turned its territory into camps used to house, train, finance and infiltrate armed terrorist groups, chief among them the al-Qaeda network and the al-Nusra Front.”

Again in 2014, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari submitted a letter to Ban Ki-moon in which the Syrian government criticized “Turkey’s role in supporting terrorism in the region.”

Jaafari said the Turkish authorities allowed thousands of foreign terrorists, extremists and mercenaries from across the world to enter Syria and provided armed groups with funds, weapons and other forms of support, which is “blatant violation of international agreements on counter-terrorism.”

One non-Syrian Islamist fighter who joined the Syrian rebel ranks in 2012 told Reuters the Turkish borders “were wide open” and armed rebels “used to get in and out of Turkey very easily. No questions were asked. Arms shipments were smuggled easily into Syria.”

Turkey has repeatedly denied such accusations.

(Reuters, AFP, Al-Akhbar)

Comments

Turkey's a regime that is paranoid by Kurds. it took a civil war to accept a Kurd as a Kurd and to understand it is all about finding a balance that works for everyone.

unfortunately the current government seem to be going in the wrong, unsustainable direction by twisting facts. their inability to look forward and adapt is contributing to their demise.

Turkey's parliament has approved the option of using the Turkish army in Syria and Iraq.
The most pressing action is for the Turkish government to order military actions to save the Syrian Kurds in Syrian territory. Failure to do so will shed doubts about Turkey's intention on ISIS and it would appear the plan is rather to upgrade and give a military hand to the Syrian rebels affiliated to the Moslem Brotherhood in order to topple Bashar al Assad.
Having made several miscalculations for 3 years, it is doubtful that this new strategy won't turn into another miscalculation.

Erdogan is to pay slowly..u will see for his follies...the chicken will come home to roost?

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