EU calls for global push against ISIS in Kobane
The European Union called on Friday for greater international cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group after the militants seized the headquarters of Kurdish fighters defending the Syrian border town of Kobane.
“We are deeply concerned by the security and humanitarian situation in Kobane and the rest of the Syrian Kurdish self-proclaimed autonomous region after three weeks of siege and fierce fighting,” said the statement from the office of EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton.
“The people of Kobane have demonstrated to the international community their resolve to use all means to protect their fundamental rights and values and to resist oppression.”
“The EU remains committed to play its role to the full in the fight against ISIL and in solidarity with all people suffering from ISIL actions,” the statement said, using an alternative name for ISIS.
It called for the EU, Turkey and other regional and international partners “to work together more, to isolate and contain the threat of ISIL.”
It raised concerns about recent deaths in Turkey, where Kurds have launched a wave of violent protests against the government’s refusal to cross the border and engage militarily with ISIS fighters.
“The EU is seized of the urgency of the situation and is working on the details of a significant further package of additional support,” the statement added.
U.N. envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura warned on Friday that some 12,000 civilians still in or near Kobane, including 700 mainly elderly people in the town center, “will most likely be massacred” by ISIS militants if the town falls.
Kobane was “literally surrounded,” except for one narrow entry and exit point to the border, de Mistura said.