News / Middle East

    Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

    Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkeyi
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    Scott Bobb
    October 19, 2014 12:57 PM
    The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
    Scott Bobb

    The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed.

    Morning in Suruc, southeastern Turkey. Rojava camp - one of several in this town of 20,000 - is a new neighborhood of refugees who arrived following the seizure of parts of Kobani by the Islamic State, or IS.

    Some 400,000 people from Kobani and its surrounding villages, mostly Kurds, fled after IS militants executed hundreds of local residents saying they were infidels, according to Shaheen, a farmer who will give only his first name out of fear of reprisals against relatives still inside.

    “They bombed and destroyed everything. They executed my cousin then they shared the photo of his head on Facebook. His name was Zuhir,” he said.

    Families like this fled with only the clothes on their backs. The father said local aid groups helped them a lot but they had no money to supplement these basic rations.

    Winter was coming and the weather on this high plain was turning cold, especially at night, said Fadela, a mother of five.

    “My children need clothes, underwear, pajamas and winter clothes. We need gas and electricity, and kitchen utensils. They give us food, but not enough [of it],” she said.

    Camp coordinator Azad, also from Kobani, said more services were needed at the three week-old facility.

    “Medical services, toilets, water, no electricity. We give them what we can of food and some health services,” said Azad.

    He hoped temporary houses could be built before winter because children and the elderly were getting sick.

    “We need help. There are some people still sleeping in the streets. They don’t have tents, food or medicine. We need more help from the West and the United Nations,” said farner Shaheen.

    The refugees said the U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State positions have helped. But they said Kurdish forces fighting IS would need heavier weapons on the ground in order to prevent the militant group from taking full control of Kobani.

    • Thick smoke and flames from a fire rises following a strike in Kobani, Syria, during fighting between Syrian Kurds and the militants of the Islamic State group, as seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, Oct. 19, 2014.
    • Kurdish fighters walk through a street in the Syrian town of Kobani, Oct. 19, 2014.
    • Smoke rises following a strike in Kobani, Syria, during fighting between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, as seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014.
    • Members of the media on a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, watch as smoke from a fire rises following a strike in Kobani, Syria, during fighting between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, Oct. 19, 2014.
    • Fighter jets fly over Kobani, Syria, during fighting between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, as seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, Oct. 19, 2014.
    • In this photo shot with an extreme telephoto lens and through haze from a hilltop in Mursitpinar on the outskirts of Suruc at the Turkey-Syria border, Kurdish fighters walk to their positions next to a machine-gun-fitted pickup truck, in Kobani, Syria, Oc
    • Smoke from a fire rises following a strike in Kobani, Syria, during fighting between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, as seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, Oct. 19, 2014.
    • Kurdish refugee children from the Syrian town of Kobani sit behind a fence in a camp in the southeastern town of Suruc on the Turkish-Syrian border, Oct. 19, 2014.
    • A Kurdish refugee child from the Syrian town of Kobani looks out of a tent in a camp in the southeastern town of Suruc on the Turkish-Syrian border, Oct. 19, 2014.
    • Turkish Kurds watch the Syrian town of Kobani from near the Mursitpinar border crossing, on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc, Oct. 19, 2014.
    • A news photographer takes pictures of the Syrian town of Kobani from near the Mursitpinar border crossing, on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc, Oct. 19, 2014.
    • Turkish Kurds watch the Syrian town of Kobani from near the Mursitpinar border crossing, on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc, Oct. 19, 2014.
    • Smoke rises following a strike in Kobani, Syria, during fighting between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, as seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, Oct. 19, 2014.
    • The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), bottom, is seen relieving the USS George H.W. Bush in the Arabian Gulf, Oct. 18, 2014. The George H.W. Bush will soon depart for its homeport at Norfolk, Va., and Carl Vinson will take over support of maritime security operations, strike operations in Iraq and Syria.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Doggy from: nowhere
    October 30, 2014 7:19 AM
    Syrians especially ayn el arab(as u call kobane) people came to turkey as Refugees. Help this people and Stop feeding irredentist PKKists with more weapons

    by: kaleemulla mohamedali from: Trivandrum-India
    October 26, 2014 8:50 AM
    PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE. By not preventing Israel to occupy Arab land and not returning Arab land in Camp David Accord was the foundation on which the whole world is suffering today. International peace, security and oil based economic crisis could have been averted. By accusing the present, this world will not pardon the past. Who is to be blamed?

    by: D.F. from: USA
    October 20, 2014 8:34 PM
    Arm Christian militias who have been abandoned by the Kurds & the Iraqi government.

    by: Christopher Freed
    October 19, 2014 10:17 AM
    Arm the Kurds!!!!!

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