Human rights defenders and politicians in Kobani have condemned the Turkish drone attack that killed five people in Kobani on Christmas Day, Saturday 25th December.
The Euphrates Human Rights Organisation on Sunday gathered in Kobani to issue a press statement.
Sara Qewas, the co-chair of the organisation, condemned the attacks on civilians.
“Turkey is targeting civilians in the region every day. It is disrupting Syria’s security and stability. It forces the population to migrate. It changes the demographic structure. All these crimes must be held accountable. This is the main task of all human rights institutions.” she said.
In response to the international community’s silence in the face of the attacks, Qewas said, “The international community that keep silent about these crimes does not only approve of such attacks, but at the same time, they become accomplices of these crimes.”
Members of seven political parties on Sunday gathered at the Free Women’s Square in Kobani, and issued a joint statement condemning the airstrikes targeting their town.
Îsmet Îbrahim, member of the Euphrates region office of the Kurdish Democratic Left Party in Syria, read out the statement on behalf of all signatory parties, that included the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Kurdish Democratic Left Party in Syria, Syrian Kurdish Democratic Reconciliation Party, Republican Party of Syrian-Kurdistan, Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria (PDKS), and Kurdistan Democratic Peace Party.
“This is not the first time that the Turkish state has targeted civilians and carried out massacres with unmanned aerial vehicles. This attack and massacre is being perpetrated amid international silence against this city, which has fought and defeated ISIS and all terrorist organisations supported by Turkey,” he said.
Calling on the eighty-three governments that are the partners of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, İbrahim said, “Stand with the people who defeated ISIS and fulfil the promises you made in 2019. Protect northeastern Syria from Turkey’s ongoing threats to destabilise the region’s security, politically and economically.”
The U.S.-led coalition against ISIS began bombing ISIS -also referred to as Daesh- after the group seized large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria in mid-2014.
On 26 January 2015, People’s Defence Units (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), and international fighters led by Kurds, drove out ISIS militants from the Syrian border town of Kobani after a four-month battle.
The defeat of ISIS in Kobani was a major turning point for all sides involved. “The battle for Kobani was not only a fight between the YPG and Daesh, it was a battle between humanity and barbarity, a battle between freedom and tyranny, it was a battle between all human values and the enemies of humanity,” said the YPG in a statement after ISIS defeat in Kobani.
Pentagon officials have also emphasised that airstrikes alone would not defeat the Islamic State. General John Allen, former special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS, later noted, Kobani was the “first real battle … where we had an opportunity to make a difference, [and] it was clear that the Islamic state wanted to wipe out the Kurdish population.”
While nearly 1,000 Daesh members were killed, Kobani’s liberation took a heavy toll on its defenders as more than 300 YPG/YPJ fighters were killed and many civilians also perished.
More than forty percent of the fighters who fought heroically to defend Kobani were women and the Kobani resistance has been saluted by women’s organisations and feminists from around the world as it became a symbol for “women’s resistance”.
The battle for Kobani’s liberation brought global attention to the revolution of the Kurds in Syria, referred to as the ‘Rojava Revolution’, which is based on grass-roots democracy, women’s liberation and the notion of sustainable ‘ecological society’.