With ISIS Taking Kobani, UN Claims ‘Massacre’ Fears

Around 500 Civilians Remain in Kurdish Border Town

ISIS fighters have seized the headquarters of the Kurdish militia in Kobani (Ayn al-Arab in Arabic), and seem to be in the process of mopping up the last of the Kurdish resistance to their takeover after weeks of fighting.

Though the weeks of fighting provided a lot of time for civilians to flee across the border into neighboring Turkey, UN officials say that somewhere in the ballpark of 500 civilians, mostly the elderly, remain in Kobani and could be “massacred” by ISIS after the takeover.

UN envoy Staffen de Mistura seemed eager to hype the potential scope of the massacre, bumping up the number of trapped civilians to 700 and claiming somewhere around 12,000 people could be massacred overall, pushing Turkey to intervene.

Turkish ruling party official Yasin Aktay downplayed the situation, saying materially all of the civilians from Kobani are already in Turkey, and that all that remains in the town is “a war between two terrorist groups.”

Aktay went on to accuse the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) of fueling the myth of a “tragedy in Kobani” to try to gain support for the fight against ISIS.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.