Standort: / Meldung: ""There are no weapons to stop this""

Johanna Jaufer

Revival of the fittest... aber das war noch nicht alles.

11. 10. 2014 - 18:41

"There are no weapons to stop this"

Mutlu Çiviroğlu ist in ständigem Kontakt mit den Verteidigungstruppen und der (ebenfalls kämpfenden) Stadtregierung von Kobanê. Als Experte für kurdische Angelegenheiten beobachtet er die Geschehnisse in Syrien und der Türkei genau.

Mutlu Çiviroğlu

Mutlu Çiviroğlu

Mutlu Çiviroğlu is a US-based Kurdish Affairs Analyst focusing on Syria and Turkey. Also Kobane Expert. Mutlu on Twitter

Mutlu Çiviroğlu hat in der Türkei gelebt, kennt viele Leute in der Region und besucht die kurdischen Enklaven in Syrien regelmäßig. In den USA arbeitet er als Journalist und Experte für kurdische Angelegenheiten. Aktuell stellt er alle paar Stunden Statements der Kurden vor Ort auf seinen Blog. Bevor wir gestern Nacht telefonieren konnten, musste ich warten, bis er sein Gespräch mit einem Vertreter der Stadtverwaltung von Kobanê beendet hatte.

You are still in close contact with people in Kobanê...

Yes, I just got a call from Kobanê.

Regarding the current situation, and diverging information about the number of civilians in Kobanê right now, what's your estimate?

The widespread media insisted on reporting that the city is empty. I was trying to tell people that that's not the case. There are now street fights and because of the constant shelling of ISIS against the city, people are not able to get out of their homes. I asked Anwar Muslim, the premier of Kobanê, Ismet Hasan (defence chief of Kobanê) and activists there. About the exact number (of civilians), they are not sure. My understanding is that it is about a couple thousand of people trapped there.

These people are the families of girls and boys at the front. To them, leaving the city would be a betrayal. Some people also have their fathers and mothers fighting. Also, the governement/canton officials are fighting and their families are still there. There are also elderly people who say, "I don't wanna go and live miserably in a camp". Some also went to Turkey and came back after they saw the tough situation that people there are undergoing right now. There are also villagers on the South side, a bit away from the center of Kobanê, who didn't have the chance to leave. They are now under ISIS. There is a growing concern about their fate, that they are being judged under Sharia law. There is a huge concern that these people are going to be executed because they had no chance to get away - that includes a significant number of people.

What do Kurdish fighters need right now?

What they desperately need is a continuation of airstrikes. The last three days really helped the situation on the ground. They also need to be supplied weapons.

Besides YPG, there are some FSA groups in Kobanê against ISIS. In September, they agreed on a joint operation ("Euphrates Volcano Offensive"). The international community chooses to ignore that there are some secular, moderate FSA groups. These people - YPG, FSA and canton officials - demand weapons from the US and the Western countries. Especially anti-tank missiles are needed. The biggest problem for Kobanê and the fighters on the ground is the ISIS' sophisticated US tanks they captured when overthrowing Mosul. As the city is being shelled and there are no weapons to stop this, fighters are forced to sacrifice their lives to detonate these tanks. This is the main problem right now.

As someone who has been keeping in close contact with fighters, officials and locals inside the city: are they still keeping their spirits up?

Yes, they still keep their spirits up. They still think that the international community will step in. The statements I receive from the local canton officials and YPG/YPJ fighters underline that. They are very happy that people around the globe are standing with them - not the governements, but the people. They acknowledge that people around the world are caring about them. The airstrikes of the past three days also helped lifting their spirits. But this does not mean that they are in a good situation - in fact the situation is very critical. There is a heavy price being paid by FSA and YPG. The international coalition against ISIS should consider helping these people. They are also fighting on behalf of humanity - remember Anwar Muslim's statement just days ago.

Nahost-Reporter Harald Doornbos gestern: "It is highly unfair to compare enclave #Kobane to enclave Srebrenica. Fall of Kobane is being live streamed." Das Erklär-Video dazu macht gerade auf Facebook die Runde. Unterschiedliche Aktivisten bestätigen seine Echtheit: "FROM #KOBANI THIS is how #YPG get over the pain".

His message was very clear. They are doing their best. Imagine - Mosul fell within a few hours. Kobanê has been resisting and fighting for the 26th day. Heroic sacrifices and historic achievements are being made. I am hoping that Austrian governement, the other European countries, the West, the US, Canada and Australia, will see this and will not leave these people alone, stand with them.

People are in a very desperate situation, not only militarily, but the civilians inside as well. They are running out of food as well. People are drinking rain water now.


  • PYD ("Partiya Yekitîya Demokrat" - "Partei der Demokratischen Union") syrische Kurdenpartei, der PKK nahestehend
  • YPG ("Yekîneyên Parastina Gel") Kurdische Volksverteidigungstruppen, militärischer Arm der PYD
  • YPJ Frauenverteidigungseinheiten
  • FSA Truppen der syrischen Opposition gegen Machthaber Baschar al-Assad, in sich zersplittert. Eine gemäßigte Abordnung kämpft mit den Kurden um Kobanê
  • PKK ("Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan") Kurdische Arbeiterpartei, verübt im Konflikt mit der Türkei in den Neunziger Jahren blutige Anschläge

German journalist Frank Nordhausen wrote that Turkey "has the biggest chance ever to make peace and friends with the Kurds - and is willingly dismissing it"...

I certainly agree. I am worried that the peace process (between Turkey and PKK) is going to crack. I am very concerned about people being killed in Turkey at these demonstrations. Kurds in Europe and USA - they are all on the streets. The peace process really could have been the biggest opportunity to show that Turkey really wants peace. With millions of Kurds in Turkey and they are brothers and sisters on the other side of the border. It is the duty and moral responsibility of any modern an civilized country not to keep silent.

To be continued: On the outstanding role of Kurdish cantons in Syria in terms of pacific coexistence of different religions and ethnic goups, gender equality and Assad's biggest diplomatic achievement...