Obama’s Facebook page has been swamped by Kurds demanding action on Kobane. Photo: Facebook.
HALABJA, Kurdistan Region – Tens of thousands of Kurds have swamped President Barack Obama’s official Facebook page with calls for the United States to come to the rescue of Kobane, the Syrian Kurdish border town in the third week of a siege by Islamic State forces.
“Save Kobane,” read thousands of comments under one presidential posting that quotes Obama as saying: “The people of the world look to us to lead. And we welcome that responsibility. We are heirs to a proud legacy of freedom."
Kurds were asking whether the US was now prepared to extend that leadership role to Rojava, the self-declared Kurdish autonomous zone where Kobane is located.
The rapidly growing online campaign started on Monday when public figures and public figures launched the first appeals via the presidential account on Facebook.
“It is a great idea. This is Obama’s page,” Rebin Hardi, a well-known journalist from the city of Sulaimani, in the Kurdistan Region, told his Facebook followers. “Let each of us call for aid with a comment. This is something we can do.”
“Mr. Hardi, you mean comments will affect the strategy of a country like the United States?” another Facebook user, Hardi Sabir, shot back. “This is just a symbolic act but at least it’s nice to see one million people or more who have the same demand. This way he (President Obama) would at least know how many hearts this war will break.”
Many of the Kurds, lacking knowledge of English, are copying and pasting messages prepared by the organizers. They see that as a way to show how many are behind the demands.
“We thank the US for their effort against terror movement IS in Syria and Iraq,” wrote Mohammed Pirot Arif, a message repeated by hundreds of others.
He added, however: “The anti-IS coalition air strikes against IS in the Canton of Kobane in Rojava have been limited so far…The resistance of Kurdish people led by the YPG (People’s Protection Units) and YPJ (Women’s Protection Unit) is now in its 17 day.
“We fear if YPG and YPJ does not get international support against ISIS in Kobane and Rojava, IS will begin massacre against our Kurdish people and all those that does not submit to their ideological believe. We therefore hope US takes more active role combating IS in Rojava by arming and helping our Kurdish forces YPG & YPJ against IS.”
Reza Amouzadeh, another Kurdish user, was thankful for the US air strikes so far.
“Kobane shakes your hand for such a valuable operation. As a free person in this world I wish to see a signed coalition contract between USA and Kobane authorities very soon to cooperate to destruct ISIS military vehicle.” he said.
Some Americans also got into the debate on the Obama Facebook site. Beverly Whysall wrote: “Save America, what the heck... all these people asking for their homeland help. Pure madness. We aren't God.”
“Beverly Whyshall: well your government have played god in the middle East for the past decades. So by helping Kobane they are just cleaning up after themselves!” Responded Brin Barwari.
Under another presidential posting in which Obama spoke of the significance of more Americans climbing to the middle class, Osman Kurda commented: “Mr president, your people need to reach middle class but we need to be dealt (with) as human... save Kobane... save Kurdistan... we think... we breathe... as much as you and your people too”.
Comments on that post were on Tuesday running into the tens of thousands.