After widespread international criticism and protests by Kurds, Turkey has been forced to allow Kurdish militias to cross from Iraq into Turkey and then into Syria to help their fellow fighters crush ISIS, which has been besieging the city of Kobani for the past month.
For weeks Turkey has blocked Kurds from crossing its border with Syria to help in the defence of Kobani. Turkish tanks were positioned on the hillsides overlooking the city – not to threaten ISIS but to prevent the Kurds from joining the fight. At one point it seemed very likely that Kobani would fall to ISIS and there would be a massacre. If that had happened then Turkey would be complicit in a war crime, for to stand by and watch as the massacre took place and do nothing, would ensure it is guilty of such a crime.
Leading the Kurd defence of Kobani are the YPJ, the women’s section of the Kurdish Protection Force. Kurdish Peshmerga has also played a leading role in defending minorities in the region, such as the Yazidis and Chaldean Christians.
It is now believed that the brutal ISIS was sponsored by equally brutal Assad regime to oppose the Free Syrian Army and other opposition forces, but that ISIS had its own plans and exploited the ensuring chaos to go on and create the caliphate.