Refugees look on as smoke rises near the Kurdish border town of Kobane during an attack from Islamic State fighters, in this AFP file photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The fall of Kobane in Syrian Kurdistan could kill the Kurdish peace process in Turkey, said Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
"Should this massacre attempt succeed (in Kobane), it will both bring an end to the ongoing process of resolution and lay the foundations for a new coup that will last long,” Ocalan was quoted as saying by Kurdish politicians who visited him Wednesday.
His comments came as the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said Thursday that militants fighting Kurdish forces to enter the city could break through at any moment, unleashing the kinds of massacres and atrocities they have carried out elsewhere.
The city is defended by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the main protection force in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) which has links to PKK.
The Kurds accuse Turkey of turning a blind eye to the suffering in Kobane, and are outraged since a recent border closure that prevents young Turkish-Kurds to go and fight for Kobane’s defence.
The Turkish parliament, meanwhile, authorized military action in Iraq and Syria in a motion debated late into the evening.
SOHR said that clashes are taking place between ISIS and YPG forces only hundreds of meters from Kobane (Ayn al-Arab in Arabic), both in the east and west.
Residents who resisted leaving in a mass exodus during nearly two weeks of fighting for the city fear the militants could break in at any moment, SOHR said.
Meanwhile, Kobane’s defence chief told the Voice of America’s Kurdish service that a "large-scale massacre" by ISIS is imminent, without international aid.
Ismet Sheikh Khan said that Kurdish fighters defending the area felt abandoned by the US-led coalition forces, despite airstrikes nearby in recent days. US planes carried out airstrikes near Kobane last Saturday.
"It is only a matter of time before they (ISIS) enter the city and commit a large-scale massacre against the people. The US and coalition (forces) need to strike ISIS targets before it is too late," said Khan, who oversees the defence of Kobane.
A weeks-long siege of Kobane by ISIS saw another massive exodus of refugees into neighboring Turkey.
Some 160,000 Syrian Kurds have crossed to Turkey to escape ISIS. But Ankara has refused to assist the Kurdish fighters of the YPG, since the group is linked to the PKK.
Ocalan said he considered the Kobane reality and the peace process in Turkey as an “indivisible whole,” and called on everyone to defend “this democratic journey and struggle for humanity that has cost everybody a lot.”