“Islamic State closes in on Syrian town, refugees flood into Turkey,” by Daren Butler and Sylvia Westall, Reuters, September 21, 2014:
(Reuters) – Islamic State militants tightened their noose on a northern Syrian border town on Sunday as the United Nations said the number of Syrian Kurds fleeing into neighbouring Turkey may have topped 100,000 and was likely to go much higher.
Residents fleeing the frontier town of Ayn al-Arab, known in Kurdish as Kobani, and its surrounding villages said the militants were executing people of all ages in the areas they had seized to create a climate of fear and slavish obedience.
Kurdish politicians in Turkey renewed their appeal to young people in the country’s mainly Kurdish southeast to head to Kobani to help their ethnic kin push back Islamic State, which has seized swathes of Iraq and Syria in recent months and proclaimed a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East.
“ISIL (Islamic State) are continuing to advance. Every place they pass through they kill, wound and kidnap people. Many people are missing and we believe they were kidnapped,” Welat Avar, a doctor, told Reuters by telephone from Kobani.
“We now urgently need medicines and equipment for operations. We have many casualties … ISIL killed many people in the villages. They cut off the heads of two people, I saw it with my own eyes,” he said.
A Kurdish politician from Turkey who visited Kobani on Saturday gave a similar account of the Sunni militants’ tactics.
“Rather than a war this is a genocide operation … They are going into the villages and cutting off the heads of one or two people and showing them to the villagers,” Ibrahim Binici, a deputy from Turkey’s pro-Kurdish HDP party, told Reuters.
“It is truly a shameful situation for humanity,” he said, calling for international intervention.
Some Syrian Kurds compared their plight to the Yazidi minority in Iraq, which came under attack from Islamic State earlier this year. Tens of thousands of Yazidis were forced to flee their homeland of Sinjar and other villages.
The United States has carried out airstrikes against Islamic State in Iraq and has said it is prepared to extend them into Syria, but it is not clear when or where this could take place.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said on Sunday that other countries were willing to join Washington in launching air strikes in Syria against Islamic State militants.
“We will not do the air strikes alone,” she told CBS’ “Face the Nation”. “But we’re going to leave it to other nations to announce for themselves what their specific commitments to the coalition are going to be.”…
They don’t seem to be rushing to do so.