News / Middle East

    Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

    Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkeyi
    X
    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.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    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!!!!!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora