Caught between ISIS-besieged Kobani and unwelcome in Turkey, an unarmed Kurdish brigade guards the Turkey-Syria border. The volunteers’ problems are not only with Islamic State militants – Turkish troops are also resolved to keep the brigade away.
Over the past month the Islamic State's siege of Kobani (aka Ayn al-Arab) has been dominating the world news coverage, revealing Turkey's fraught relationship with its own Kurdish minority and with Kurds and Kurdish organizations across the wider region.
Oil sales, ransoms and extortions help ISIS “generate tens of millions of dollars” monthly, the US Treasury estimates, promising to undermine the group’s finances and to impose sanctions on anyone attempting to do business with the extremists.
Reporters are now being warned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that extremists affiliated with the so-called Islamic State have been “tasked with kidnapping journalists,” according to the Washington Post.
United States and coalition airstrikes in Syria over the last month have killed more than 500 jihadists, of both Islamic State and Al-Qaeda affiliated groups, and 32 civilians, according to a human rights monitor.
Not only is Syria’s future at stake as the civil war rages on, but now also its past. The black market flourishing in the conflict now sees relics - some as ancient as 1,200 years - traded by rebels for AK-47s.
The IS is using weapons the US and Sunni coalition countries “inadvertently” provided it with while supporting the Arab Spring. The militants, in particular, pried arms from Syrian rebels Max Abrahms, professor at Northeastern University told RT.
The Pentagon has admitted that a chunk of its cache of weapons meant for Kurdish forces battling Islamic State militants in Kobani has fallen into terrorist hands. The Turkish president has been voicing his frustration with Washington over this.
Authorities suspect three teenage girls from suburban Denver, who stole money from their parents and flew to Germany over the weekend, were attempting to reach Syria to join Islamic State, the extremist group now being targeted by US-led airstrikes.
Turkey’s border remains closed for Syrian Kurds battling the Islamic State for Kobani. But if wounded in skirmishes and seeking medical help, Kurdish fighters told RT they are forced to smuggle themselves over the Turkish border to avoid arrest.
Russia firmly supports the efforts of the Iraqi government to combat terrorism in all its aspects. It is necessary to unite the efforts of the country’s political movements and parties to confront the common threat posed by the IS terrorist group.